Nearly 40 acres of Middletown land previously envisioned as an indoor marijuana growing facility could become a $16 million logistics and distribution center.
The city has put together a tax incentive package in hopes of luring the large project that could bring as many as 350 jobs, according to documents obtained by the Journal-News.
Middletown City Council is expected to approve a 15-year, 100 percent tax abatement for the project at its April 4 meeting.
The 612,730-square-foot project is being designed to accommodate a regional distribution company or e-commerce company, according to City Manager Doug Adkins, who said a specific tenant has not yet committed to the building.
“We are very excited to be developing this site,” said John Westheimer, president of Cincinnati Commercial Contractors and whose company is constructing and will be leasing the project for The Opus Group of Minneapolis, Minn. “We think Middletown is a terrific place to do business and has been very business friendly to work with.”
The proposed facility would be built on a 35-acre tract as part of the MADE Industrial Park near the corner of Yankee and Todhunter roads. That site was last proposed as an indoor marijuana growing facility.
The timing of the new facility coincides with the $1.81 million extension of Salzman Road that would link Ohio 63 with Todhunter and Yankee roads.
“Location is a key factor in any project, and I think the Salzman Road extension is making this site even more attractive in the marketplace,” said Jennifer Ekey, city economic development director. “As we have seen over the past several months, buildings are moving quicker than they have in the recent past and we expect that, although this facility is being constructed as a spec building, there will be great interest once it gets underway.”
After this project is completed, she said there will be about 45 acres of property still available in the MADE Industrial Park.
The extension will align with Yankee Road and will provide a straight route for truck and commercial traffic to and from Middletown between Todhunter Road and Ohio 63 for easier access to Ohio 4 and Interstate 75.
The extension will enable semi-trucks to avoid a railroad crossing as well as the area around Monroe High School and Junior High school.