Streetsboro -- Several companies have committed to significant reinvestments in the city of Streetsboro in 2012.
Crane Centre Drive's Viking Forge is building a 110,000-square-foot addition on to its facility and buying about $4 million worth of equipment, creating a total property investment of about $12 million.
Roger Koeberle, plant general manager, said the business plans to add 40 jobs, increasing its payroll by $900,000 over the next three years. Prior to the project, the firm employed 131 and had a payroll of $6.2 million.
The city and county also approved an enterprise zone agreement, which includes a seven-year, 40 percent tax abatement and a 45 percent tax credit for five years.
"This is a much-needed expansion," said Koeberle in March. "It will allow us to grow the business further. We've pretty much reached our capacity with the facilities we currently have."
Former Planning and Economic Development Director Jeff Pritchard said the company has "been a very good tenant in this city. They are making a commitment to this city."
"Viking Forge qualifies for an enterprise zone agreement because they are expanding their facility," he added.
Incorporated in 1988, the company manufactures parts for the auto, truck, oil natural gas and ATV markets.
Also growing in 2012 was window and door manufacturer Soft-Lite Gorell LLC announced plans to move 40 to 50 jobs in June 2012. from Gorell Windows & Doors' Indiana, Pa. plant.
Soft-Lite acquired Gorell Windows & Doors April 1 through a court-ordered receivership purchase, combining the competing companies.
"We are pleased we were able to retain some of the Gorell employees, and we appreciate the efforts of those whose work with Gorell has ended," said Soft-Lite Gorell President Roy Anderson.
Pritchard said Soft-Lite employed about 200 to 230 workers prior to the merger.
Longtime Streetsboro company Automated Packaging also made an investment in the community in 2012.
The company acquired two additional commercial buildings in town, one on Mondial Parkway which is 173,000 square feet in size, and one on Phillip Parkway that's 33,000 square feet, according to a company news release.
Automated Packaging Systems obtained a 45 percent Job Creation Tax Credit from the state of Ohio for seven years with a commitment to operate the new acquisition on Mondial Parkway for at least 10 years. The company has committed to creating 85 new jobs in the first three years and plans to have 200 to 250 new jobs there in 10 years. Automated Packaging now has three manufacturing and office buildings in Streetsboro, and a total of nine manufacturing plants worldwide, states the news release.
"These two building acquisitions provide us with the flexibility we need to meet the growth we are experiencing in our global businesses," said Cliff Brehm, Automated Packaging's president and chief operating officer. "The city of Streetsboro, the Portage County Department of Development, and the State of Ohio have been extremely supportive in helping us to expand our business in this community, and we plan to be here for a long time."
The company manufactures a wide range of plastic bagging systems.
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens