Stow approves tax abatement for Seasons Business Center 5

Krista S. Kano
Kent Weeklies

Stow City Council has approved a 15-year, 100% tax abatement for the upcoming Seasons Business Center 5 at the corner of state Route 8 and Seasons Road. 

Fogg, the developer, intends to build a 247,000-square-foot industrial building it says would generate $2 million in payroll by the end of the third year, per its community reinvestment area (CRA) application, amounting to $40,000 in new income tax.

The estimated investment in real property is $13.65 million, and the building would generate $289,000 in annual property taxes, $179,000 of which would go to Stow-Munroe Falls City School District. 

As part of the CRA, Fogg will enter into a school district compensation agreement to instead make an annual payment of $89,500 to the schools, representing half of what the schools would have received without an abatement. Currently, and without a building, the district receives no income from the site. 

"This abatement agreement is key to our success and keeps the buildings economically competitive with other buildings and other cities in the marketplace," president and CEO Ray Fogg said. "These are triple net leases, so the real estate tax is passed through to the tenant. It's key to the tenant's overall cost of occupancy to be able to have this abatement."

Fogg has the same abatement on Seasons Business Centers 1-4.

Like the first four buildings, Seasons Business Center 5 is being built on speculation. Construction is expected to begin as soon as the weather breaks. 

"We're taking that risk, but there is a strong interest," Fogg said. "Sometimes it takes forever to make a deal, but they're in a hurry and can't wait for it to be built." 

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Stow City Council received multiple correspondence from residents concerned about how the Business Center 5 would impact nearby neighborhoods and the wetlands, in particular. 

According to Fogg, of the 120 acres of the Seasons Business Centers, 30 are wetlands area, which already has a conservation easement placed on it.

"The stormwater design here actually takes you currently at a 100-year storm to a two-year storm," he said. "And even with the surfaces of roofs and the pavement, the development with retention ponds will greatly improve the drainage to the south."

City planning and development director Rob Kurtz said that currently there is no stormwater management at the site, and that the engineering department has a strict standard for going from a 100-year storm to a two-year storm.

"I have confidence in our engineering department and how they review those," he said.

Stow City Council Planning Committee is expected to review Fogg's site plan Thursday. Feb. 11.

Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, kkano@thebeaconjournal.com or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.