Lordstown packs meeting

Residents learn about proposed distribution center

Tribune Chronicle / Raymond L. Smith Joe Dubord, senior vice president of distribution for the HomeGoods division of TJX Companies, Inc. tells a large crowd at the Lordstown Community Center Monday of the benefits of having the company build a distribution center in the village.

LORDSTOWN — Several hundred village residents crowded inside the Lordstown Community Center to learn more about the proposal to build a massive retail distribution center in the village and express concerns about what may happen to home values and traffic because of it.

Monday’s meeting comes on the heels of news Thursday the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post is considering building a distribution center on 290 acres of land near the intersection of Interstate 80 and Bailey Road.

The project, which TJX officials estimates would create at least 1,000 jobs, already has a purchase agreement in place for the land across the street from the General Motors Lordstown Complex.

Robert Lovas, 73, who lives in the nearby Imperial Mobile Home Park, is concerned about the increased traffic that may be created when the 1.2 million-square-foot facility is built.

“We already have a lot of traffic,” Lovas said. “This will add more.”

Tim Halas, 41, said he is concerned how the project might impact property values, while Carolyn Taylor, 71, who also lives in the mobile home park, wanted to know how the project will benefit the village.

Joe Dubord, senior vice president of distribution for the HomeGoods division of TJX Companies, Inc., said the company looked at five states and 12 communities before deciding Lordstown was the right community.

“When we estimate we will bring 1,000 jobs, that is a conservative number,” Dubord said. “We expect it to be greater.”

Dubord said the facility will be state-of-the-art in design and technology. It will have significant buffering from surrounding neighborhoods.

“This will be the equivalent to a regional facility,” Dubord said.

It will be the distribution center for more than 300 stores in the region. The company already has distribution centers in Arizona, Connecticut and Georgia that provide products for the TJX stores in the region, Dubord said.

Mark Walker, head of real estate at HomeGoods, said the company is projected to have more than $600,000 in payroll per pay period.

“This helps to keep people in the area, in the purchasing of cars, of homes and builds communities,” Walker said. “We will have jobs at all levels from entry level to executive positions.”

Walker said he would like construction started as soon as possible.

“It takes about one and a half years to build the facility,” Walker said. “We are looking at 2020.”

Using a recently completed traffic study, Walker said they would place two traffic lights on Ellsworth Bailey Road. He said there will be no entrances to the facility on Hallock Young Road.

“With the exception of the Imperial (Mobile Home) neighborhood, you don’t pass though any residential neighborhoods,” Walker said.

Richard Williams, who lives in Imperial, said having the building across the street will ruin the views he has at night and chase away deer and other animals.

Lisa Luzadder, whose family owns five acres of property on Pritchard Ohltown Road that will border the facility, expects her property value will diminish by several hundred thousand dollars if the distribution center is built.

Doug King, a Lordstown resident, said getting the distribution center is a good opportunity for the area.