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Menards delays project in Portage by two years

WARREN — Menards has decided to delay its $52 million manufacturing and distribution center in Portage County west of Newton Falls due to “all the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A spokesman for the Wisconsin-based home improvement retail chain confirmed the delay after Ohio’s Tax Credit Authority on Monday approved a request from the company to change the project start date to Jan. 1, 2023.

The project was anticipated to begin Jan. 1, 2021.

The state board in July approved a 1.164 percent, seven-year credit for Menards, which expects to create 90 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $3.5 million at the center on state Route 88 in Ravenna.

The estimated worth of the Job Creation Tax Credit is $250,000 assuming all elements of the agreement are met, according to Lisa Colbert with Ohio Development Services Agency. The credit is performance-based, so the actual value is based on verified new jobs and payroll.

As part of the agreement, Menards is expected to maintain operations at the site for at least 10 years.

Menards, which has 300 stores across the U.S., including its Elm Road NE, Warren, store, plans for the center to service its northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania stores.

The facility is planned to be a truss plant, concrete plant, bagging plant, transload operation and a crossdock distribution facility on a 65-acre site to support the company’s expansion in the Midwest. The company’s fixed asset investment would be toward building and land costs, and new machinery and equipment.

Menards also has received $175,000 from the Ohio Rail Development Commission toward a $490,000 rail infrastructure construction and rehabilitation project at the site. In addition, the company has a 100 percent, 15-year local tax abatement on the project.

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