Menards Constructing Component Plant Near Akron, OH

Originally published by: Record-CourierJune 17, 2020

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A proposal to bring a Menards distribution and manufacturing center to Ravenna is moving forward after the company recently got approval for a tax abatement, and also plans to present plans to the city’s planning commission in the weeks ahead.

Portage County commissioners recently granted a 15-year, 100% tax abatement for a Menards distribution center along Route 88, at the city’s northeastern border. The tax break already has been approved by Ravenna City Council and the Ravenna Board of Education and must also gain approval at the state level.

Menards logo

Nick Brenner, a real estate representative for Menard’s, spoke to commissioners to describe the project. Dennis West, the city’s economic development director, also was at the virtual meeting.

West said Menards will have a $51.7 million project that will employ 90 people, with an estimated payroll of $3.49 million. Most of those jobs, Brenner said, will be offered to local residents.

Brenner said Menards became interested in the area when Astra Products put its building in the market in December. Menards, he said, plans to use that building at 7154 Route 88, to construct its trusses and for truck repair.

“It’s something we’re very excited about,” he said.

Menards had been looking for a site that was 75 acres. Ravenna leaders put together a 62-acre parcel that includes five different property owners. Menards revised its plans, and the Ravenna Planning Commission will review the plans on June 30.

Brenner told commissioners that the company hopes to start construction in 2021, and the project will take about a year to build.

Menards will renovate the Astra building, and will build a 200,000-square-foot facility, which will be used for concrete block manufacturing, as well as for distribution, warehouse and storage. Brenner said there will be a wood recycling plant, which will grind the scraps from the trusses and damaged wood from the stores, and turn them into mulch.

Menards needs to transport its products by rail and will use a reactivated rail line that had been used by the Akron Barberton Cluster and owned by Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad. The line will be reactivated, and the Akron Barberton Cluster will donate a spur onto the property that would hold a couple of cars for loading and unloading.

The company has a large distribution in Ohio. In addition, the Ravenna site is one of the “mini” distribution and manufacturing centers, which build and ship the trusses. That, Brenner said, is why the rail line is so important to its plans.

“The trusses are very expensive to transport,” he said.