Bedford Industries to expand
WORTHINGTON -- The city's Economic Development Authority met Monday night to discuss proposals from two local companies interested in acquiring land on Rowe Avenue.
WORTHINGTON - The city’s Economic Development Authority met Monday night to discuss proposals from two local companies interested in acquiring land on Rowe Avenue.
In June, the EDA received an approximately five-acre lot from the city of Worthington in hopes to resell the property for economic development purposes. The city staff received two offers; one from Bedford Industries for $120,000 and another from Arnold Waldner/Schaap Moving for $83,199.60.
After reviewing both proposals, staff recommended the EDA accept Bedford Industries’ offer, and the proposal was approved.
Included in Bedford’s proposal was a plan for development and the intention to increase full-time job opportunities.
“Bedford has continued to grow rapidly, both in sales and personnel,” Jay Milbrandt, assistant general manager/general counsel at Bedford Industries, said. “We completed our last major expansion in 2011, and we are beginning our next round of construction projects.”
Bedford said in its offer that it expects to construct an Innovation Center beginning this summer. Milbrandt said the facility will create 40 to 50 new offices, conference facilities and laboratory spaces.
Along with the Innovation Center, Bedford will also expand its Visitor Center and create additional space for its creative departments by 2017. Estimated cost for the project is between $3 million and $4 million. Bedford also stated this could possibly add 52 new jobs.
Acquiring the Rowe Avenue property will ensure the company has the land needed to carry out its long-term plans at its existing location.
“Acquisition of this property was necessary so they could comply with the minimum standards that are outlined by zoning ordinances,” said Brad Chapulis, the city’s director of community and economic development.
Milbrandt said Bedford wants to make sure it can keep manufacturing in Worthington, and purchasing the Rowe Avenue land will allow that.
“We want to keep adding manufacturing space here in Worthington,” Milbrandt said. “What this acquisition allows us to do is to start thinking about that. We are growing fast enough that we know we need to add space, and we want to do that here in Worthington. We don’t have any specific details yet, but it gives us room to grow for the next 10 to 20 years or longer, which is exciting for us.”
City staff will work with Bedford to draft a development and sales agreement that complies with the EDA provisions outlined in corresponding state statutes.