By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green manufacturers will soon have a place to warehouse items, rather than shipping them outside the city or using their own valuable production space.
Ground was officially broken Wednesday morning for a 200,000-square-foot warehouse in an expanded area of the Wood Bridge Business Park on the east side of the city, off Dunbridge Road.
“This is one of the most collaborative projects I’ve ever worked on,” Bowling Green Community Development Foundation Executive Director Sue Clark told City Council on Monday evening.
The project called for teamwork with the Wood County Port Authority, Ohio Department of Transportation, JobsOhio, Poggemeyer Design Group and others, Clark said. And it called for the expansion of the business park into the next 100 acres to the east.
“This is a really big event,” Mayor Dick Edwards said of the groundbreaking.
“It’s fascinating how the warehouse is already underway,” Edwards said, praising Clark for her skill in navigating through the “minefields.”
The warehouse is being built by Mosser Construction, which will own the site and lease it to Ohio Logistics. Clark said the additional warehouse space in the city will free up room at manufacturing sites to be used for production.
“For many years, on our economic development visits, companies have relayed concerns about warehousing,” a legislative package given to council stated. “We’ve learned that, in many cases, companies are warehousing out of town.”
City officials have also been told by local manufacturers that finding adequate warehousing is important because companies want to find space for new equipment or processes within their existing plants, and moving inventory into a warehousing facility could create that additional space.
The problem, however, has been that no such space was available in Bowling Green.
But the Community Development Foundation, which facilitated the Mosser site, said the new warehouse will fill that need.
Earlier this summer, Clark said the warehouse is coming just in time – especially for one of the factories that was talking about moving to Michigan in order to get more warehouse space.
City Council agreed earlier this year to give Mosser Construction Co. a 100 percent tax abatement for a 10-year period. Mosser is planning to hire at least 35 employees and invest $8.6 million in the site.
The tax break given to Mosser is part of a deal in the city’s new Community Reinvestment Area. The company has negotiated directly with Bowling Green City Schools to make the school district whole on the tax break being given by the city.
To make way for more development in the Wood Bridge Business Park, council has already approved annexation and M-3 zoning for a total of 103 acres from Center Township into the city.
The city will install necessary water and sewer services, and roadways. The annexation will also allow for the construction of another roadway into and out of the business park. Currently, there is only one access road, off Dunbridge Road. The addition of property to the east of the Meijer store would provide room for an access road off East Wooster Street.
In other business at Monday’s meeting:
- Planning Director Heather Sayler reminded that comments on the Community Action Plan draft are due by Oct. 13. The plan can be viewed on the city’s website or at the Wood County District Public Library.
- Park and Recreation Director Kristin Otley reminded council of the 22nd annual parks and recreation Wine and Cheese Fundraiser on Friday evening.
- Utilities Director Brian O’Connell said the city’s linemen who went to Florida to help after Hurricane Irma, are expected to return to Bowling Green this week. The workers were sent to the Tallahassee, then Ocala areas. “People were very appreciative of us,” he said.