A local business is outgrowing its base of operations, but it hasn’t outgrown New Albany.
Alene Candles, the first company to move into the first multitenant manufacturing and production building in the New Albany International Business Park, is joining the Daimler Group development company in a joint venture partnership called Blue Scope LLC to expand its operations in the business park, according to a recent legislative report to New Albany City Council.
On Sept. 17, council approved an incentive package for Blue Scope that will result in the creation of 58 jobs.
Because Alene Candles has reached capacity at 8860 Smith’s Mill Road in the business park, it had to open a second facility in central Ohio, according to the legislative report.
Company officials conducted a search and found the best place to continue their business was New Albany, said community-development director Jennifer Chrysler.
The business will continue to operate out of its original location in New Albany, as well, she said.
Alene Candles experienced steady growth since opening its facility in New Albany in 2012, said Rod Harl, president of Alene Candles.
“We have reached the point that our current space, supported by off-site warehousing, is just not sufficient to support the business,” Harl said.
To allow for growth and increase operational efficiency, company officials decided to create a dedicated warehouse nearby, he said.
The warehouse will be about one mile away, Harl said.
It will be on the southeast corner of Harrison Road and Innovation Campus Way.
“We are expecting to begin the transition from our current off-site space into the new building in mid-2020, with the facility being fully operational shortly thereafter,” Harl said.
When Alene Candles leaders decided they wanted to continue operating in New Albany, Daimler Group worked with the business to help them occupy a building where they would be able to grow, said Todd Sloan, executive vice president of the Daimler Group.
Although city leaders are excited to win a project that will bring new business to the community, they are excited to work with a company already in the city – and one that has experienced the local culture and is engaged in community activities, Chrysler said.
“It shows that our efforts to promote and support business successes are working and that we’re providing exceptional service to our existing companies that they would want to grow in the community,” she said.
The project is a $30.7 million investment for a new, approximately 280,000-square-foot facility, according to the legislative report. Alene Candles would be one of two tenants.
Chrysler said Alene Candles is marketing the building to find a second tenant for the facility.
At the end of 2018, Alene Candles had 169 employees in New Albany, with an aggregate annual payroll of $7.2 million, according to the legislative report.
Under the incentive agreement, the partnership would move 90 employees to the new facility and retain $3.8 million in annual payroll at the new facility, the legislative report said.
Alene Candles has seven employees in a tenant space in a Columbus facility, Chrysler said. Those employees would move back to New Albany, she said.
The partnership will create 58 new jobs, 38 of which will be new positions for Alene Candles. Those new jobs will have an aggregate annual payroll of $2.5 million, according to the legislative report.
Under the agreement, the company will have a 100% property-tax abatement if it builds an “ECOS baseline green” building. If the company builds an “ECOS advanced green” building, the term would be increased to 10 years, the legislative report said.
ECOS is a sustainability program the city developed several years ago based on LEED standards, Chrysler said. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a “green” building-certification program.
If companies meet baseline standards, they qualify for seven years of property-tax abatements, and if they build an advanced building, they qualify for 10 years of property-tax abatements, she said.
In addition to their New Albany incentives, Alene also received a $150,000 JobsOhio grant from the state for the retention, expansion and training of employees, as well as for the capital investment in Ohio, Sloan said.