Cuyahoga Falls -- The owner of State 8 Motorcycles can rest easy knowing City Council on Feb. 13 unanimously approved his request for a tax exemption agreement on his proposed expansion project.

State 8 Motorcycles, located at 100 Cuyahoga Falls Parkway and 4193 State Road, has been in the community since 1995. On Feb. 6, Diane Sheridan, the city's director of community development, told Council State 8 owner Richard "Kirk" Compton needs more space and was considering expanding his Cuyahoga Falls business or relocating to Medina where he has a second location.

The proposed expansion project at 95 Cuyahoga Falls Industrial Parkway calls for an increase in space by 18,000 square feet, Sheridan said, at a cost of $1.1 million. The total new investment will be more than $2.4 million, she added.

State 8 currently has 39 full-time and five part-time employees with an annual payroll of $1.92 million. With the approval of the abatement, Sheridan said, "State 8 will hire five full-time and four part-time employees resulting in an increase in annual payroll of $310,000."

Woodridge Local School District's Board of Education recently recommended the 75 percent, 10-year abatement through a resolution. State 8 has offered Woodridge an annual scholarship of $1,000 spanning the 10-year abatement period.

"It's very exciting," commented Compton. "The city's support of the project has really been amazing, and pleasant. They are easy to work with and forward thinking."

Compton said he is going to immediately start the project, drawing up plans, submitting them to the building department and making any necessary changes. Unsure of a timeline, he said he anticipates breaking ground this year.

Compton told Council on Feb. 6 that State 8 uses the building on the State Road property as a storage warehouse. Compton said he purchased the property in 2004. A couple of years ago he sold it to Cascade Auto Group which has been leasing it back to him for storage purposes.

The expansion planned at 95 Cuyahoga Falls Industrial Parkway will replace the State Road storage site, according to the abatement agreement.

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