STOW — Sixty new jobs with a payroll of $2 million could be coming to the city in the next few years.

City Council has approved a 15-year property tax abatement for a $12.4 million building which would rise in the Seasons Road Business Park. Ken Trenner, Stow’s economic development coordinator, says the applicant, Ray Fogg Building Methods Inc., is proposing to create 60 new jobs with an annual payroll of $2 million by the end of the third year of the agreement.

What’s proposed is the construction of a 213,687-square-foot industrial building known as Seasons Business Center 4 on the west side of Scarlet Lane across from Seasons Business Center 1.

“Seasons Business Center 4 will largely complete the industrial development on the east side of Route 8,”  according to Michael J. Merle, the president and CEO of Ray Fogg Building Methods Inc. Merle said the proposed building would be “about twice the size” of the existing buildings in the development. Merle reported Seasons Business Center 3 is approximately 75% leased. Seasons Business Center 4 would be built on a speculative basis, he reported.

“The real estate market, especially in industrial, is very, very robust, in Northeast Ohio” Merle told council members April 25. “The vacancies are very low,” Merle said, “and we have an extraordinarily excellent location.” Describing tax abatements as “one of the realities that we live with today in economic development throughout the country but especially in Northeast Ohio,” Merle said securing this abatement in particular “is very, very important to us as we compete with similar developments … We want to make sure that we can keep our product in the city of Stow as attractive as possible to job creation.” 

City Council has a public hearing scheduled for May 9 regarding a rezoning request and site plan for the proposed industrial building; in order to construct it, Fogg must first obtain a zoning change for 6 acres of Lot #4, which is situated on the southwest corner of Seasons Road and Scarlett Lane adjacent to the state Route 8 off-ramp.

While most of the approximately 17-acre lot is designated I-1 Limited Industrial, the 6 acres in question are labeled C-5 Highway Services. Changing the zoning designation of those 6 acres to I-1 Limited Industrial is what’s desired. According to the proposed site plan, the building would feature 32-foot high ceilings and multiple loading docks on the west side.

Merle said it would be his company’s objective to move forward with the proposed development this year “starting as soon as we have Council approval.” 

Reporter Ellin Walsh can be reached at 330-541-9419, ewalsh@recordpub.com or @EllinWalsh_RPC.