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1,000 jobs could come to hard-hit community of Lordstown

Posted: 4:03 PM, Mar 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-09 18:39:33-05

Roughly 1,000 jobs could land in Lordstown if a massive project by Fortune 500 company HomeGoods is fully approved.

HomeGoods, which is owned by the same company that owns TJ Maxx, signed a purchase and sale agreement for roughly 300 acres of land right across from the General Motors plant off the Ohio Turnpike.

The company wants to build a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center on the land, hoping to have the facility completed by 2020.

Mayor Arno Hill believes the plant will be a generational game-changer for Lordstown.

“They’re going to be around for a while. They’re a Fortune 500 company, they’re coming in for the long-haul, not the short-haul,” Hill said. “And they’re willing to work with the community.”

The GM plant, at its peak, had roughly 13,000 thousand workers, Hill said. Nowadays, it has about 3,000 workers. Hill said HomeGoods will be the boost they need.

“How often do a thousand jobs just all of a sudden materialize out of nowhere? And they’re going to be decent jobs,” Hill said.

But not everyone is on board.

A neighborhood butts up to where the proposed plant will go — and homeowners are concerned about their properties being devalued. They’re also worried about the light and noise a 24/7 distribution operation will bring to their quiet country life.

“We bought the place under the idea that we’d be living in the country,” said Bill DeCesare.

He and his wife bought their Lordstown home 13 years ago and live off their land, raising chickens and growing their own produce. Their property is right next to where the plant is planned.

“We’re 100 percent against it,” DeCesare said. “I don’t think the town is going to gain anything from it except busier truck traffic on the roads.”

The land is currently zoned residential and the city’s planning commission will meet to vote if zoning will be changed to commercial. During the process, the town plans to hold several public hearings.

The first public meeting is planned on Monday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lordstown Administration building on 1455 Salt Springs Road for residents to hear more specific details about the project.

HomeGoods sent News 5 the following statement:

We are very pleased to confirm that HomeGoods, a division of The TJX Companies, Inc., has signed Purchase and Sale agreements for the potential purchase of approximately 290 acres of land in Lordstown. We are optimistic that we may build an approximately 1.2 million square-foot distribution center, pending completion of due diligence and receipt of appropriate approvals and incentives. This distribution center will help service the Company's growing network of HomeGoods stores, and, assuming full project approval, we hope to have the facility completed in 2020.