Kasich Signs TJX Bill, Public Hearing Tomorrow
LORDSTOWN, Ohio — Gov. John Kasich has signed the legislation that is expected to fast track the TJX Companies proposal to build a HomeGoods distribution center here.
State Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-32 Bazetta, announced this morning that Kasich had signed House Bill 292. The legislation, which cleared the Ohio General Assembly May 22, contained an amendment by O’Brien to accelerate an expected referendum on the proposed rezoning of some 290 acres of land in the village where TJX wants to build the warehouse.
The Lordstown Planning Commission voted May 8 in favor of rezoning the seven parcels from R-1 Residential to I-1 Industrial. If Village Council adopts the planning commission’s recommendation, opponents of the zoning change will have the opportunity to place it on the ballot for a referendum.
The legislation allows the Trumbull County Board of Elections to schedule a special election for the referendum 60 days after a council vote accepting the rezoning. If opponents gather enough signatures, the special election likely would take place Aug. 21.
A public hearing on the rezoning and special meeting of Village Council is set for 11 a.m. tomorrow.
“The path is now clear for the village to hold an expedited zoning referendum, and we are one day closer to an expected 1,000 new jobs in Lordstown,” O’Brien said. “While the goal is now in sight, I remain committed to working with local officials as we move through the public hearing and referendum phases of this process.”
Without the legislation, a referendum would not have taken place until the general election in November, which project supporters feared would jeopardize the project. Massachusetts-based TJX wants to be operating in the new distribution center by 2020.
Construction of the 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center is expected to cost more than $160 million and employ 1,000 workers.
“This is a very important step in the collaborative effort to win this project,” Walt Good, senior manager of project management and site selection for Team NEO, said. “We are seeing an all-hands-on-deck approach to land this mega deal.”
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber is “extremely pleased” that Kasich “acted so quickly to finalize the legislative process to reduce the voting timeline, should there be a referendum,” Sarah Boyarko, the chamber’s senior vice president for economic development, said this afternoon. The chamber has worked with TJX for about two years on the project.
“This was truly a joint effort, and Sen. Sean O’Brien and [state] Rep. Glenn Holmes worked diligently to ensure that this bill became a reality,” she continued. “We look forward to supporting the company on next steps in the rezoning process to ensure a positive outcome.”
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.