Reynoldsburg News

Two Etna companies receive state tax incentives for expansion

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Two Etna Township companies received tax credits from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority last week as incentives for expansion projects.

The Ascena Retail Group and Menlo Logistics are in the Etna Corporate Park.

Both companies have committed to expand on site.

Gary Frantz, communications director for Menlo, said the company has a new client. To accommodate the client, Menlo is adding 80,000 square feet of space to the distribution center, which should be open in December. The company plans to hire 12 to 15 people in the first phase of the expansion and expects to hire 63 new employees when the entire project is completed. The new employees would work in the warehouse, in distribution management and order preparation.

Dan Evers, Licking County's economic development manager, said the county has worked with Columbus 2020, another economic development group, to "identify and coordinate incentives" for the company's expansion.

"We are interested in and committed to doing that which is necessary to keep them here and facilitate their growth," Evers said.

Frantz was unable to confirm by ThisWeek's press time that the company might expand in Etna.

Ascena, which manufactures apparel for subsidiaries Dressbarn, Maurices, Justice, Lane Bryant and Catherines, will bring an estimated $6.7 million in annual payroll to its location in the Etna Corporate Park, according to a state release.

The company will receive a 10-year, 60-percent tax credit, which requires it to stay in Etna for 13 years. The tax credit will expire in December 2023

Ascena is expected to retain $10.2 million in payroll and add 225 full-time positions, expanding the distribution center to include all brands. Through its subsidiaries, the company operates more than 3,800 retail stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, with combined annual revenues of more than $4.5 billion, according to the state.

The company is expected to invest $72 million in new machinery and equipment, along with increasing the size of the building by 400,000 square feet for a total of 550,000 square feet and hiring the following new positions: director, managers, supervisors, transportation staff, engineers, human-resources personnel, a maintenance manager, maintenance techs, case handlers and unit handlers.

The Licking County commissioners on Sept. 18 approved a 15-year, 100-percent real-property-tax abatement for the expansion, which will be in a Community Reinvestment Area.

The expansion is expected to be completed by fall 2017.

Menlo Logistics would receive a 45-percent, six-year tax credit if it adds an estimated 63 full-time jobs and $2 million in payroll at a site yet to be determined.

The tax credit expires in December 2018.

Menlo works with companies on global supply chains. Its expansion is necessary to help "a leading outdoor equipment and apparel manufacturer by implementing advanced warehousing, logistics services and transportation management techniques," according to a state release.

Menlo has agreed to "make a fixed-asset investment towards new machinery and equipment, along with leasehold improvements" and hire "operations and IT (information technology) staff."

Menlo has a $714,000 annual payroll, and those jobs must remain in place for it to receive the state tax credit.

Trustee John Carlisle said Etna Township would be happy to have both companies creating jobs in the township.

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