Reynoldsburg News

Harbor Freight will start construction in February

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Harbor Freight Tools will build its third central Ohio store on what is now a vacant lot at 6294 E. Main St. in Reynoldsburg.

"This will be Harbor Freight's third location in the central Ohio area, but the first ground up/new construction store in the Midwest," city Development Director Dan Havener said.

"The vacant lot they will be developing is located on the north side of East Main Street, west of Brice Road, between Nasty's Sports Bar to the west and the Stor-All storage facility to the east," he said.

Construction is expected to start in February on the 15,000-square-foot building. Officials anticipate opening the store for business in July. Harbor Freight is a large discount tool supply company with 466 outlets nationwide.

Havener said the city offered no special tax incentives to the company for the new build.

According to Franklin County property records, the 2.417 acres at 6294 E. Main St. were purchased for $640,000 on Dec. 18, 2013.

Collin Ozar, marketing supervisor for Harbor Freight, said the company stocks more than 7,000 items in categories that include automotive, air and power tools, shop equipment and hand tools. He said the company is committed to quality and offers a lifetime guarantee on all hand tools.

He said the company was founded in 1977 in North Hollywood, Calif., and is now based in Calabasas, Calif.

"We're excited about locating in Reynoldsburg and plan to be there a long time," he said.

Ozar said new Harbor Freight stores typically hire between 30 and 45 people.

"We have an existing Harbor Freight store in Columbus and any time we have stores that are performing well and we come across towns or cities like Reynoldsburg, we feel that a lot of potential customers will live in that area," he said.

City Planning Adminisitrator Justin Robbins said the Reynoldsburg Design Review Board saw an early rendering of the building and asked for additional glazing to wrap around to the sides of the masonry structure.

"The board also asked the architect to increase the height of a raised portion of the facade and asked that horizontal banding be added to the windows on the west side," he said.

"They also wanted engaged columns added to the facade."

He said the company has been very willing to work with the city to satisfy overlay standards.

In addition to the Harbor Freight project, Havener said his first four months as development director have been spent reaching out to existing businesses, real estate brokers and development partners.

"I wish I could say that I had three or four projects under construction adding 100 more jobs for the city," he said. "But those associated with development and redevelopment know that quality development that is good for the community does not happen overnight."

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