Economic Development

TJX Pays $5.9M for Land to Build Distribution Center

LORDSTOWN, Ohio — Mayor Arno Hill said he expects “shovels in the ground” by the end of next month on a $170 million regional distribution center for a subsidiary of TJX Companies Inc.

HomeGoods Inc. announced Saturday afternoon it has purchased approximately 290 acres in the village for the project.

“We expect to begin construction of our distribution center in the coming weeks, which will help service HomeGoods’ growing network of stores and create approximately 1,000 jobs for residents of the village and neighboring communities once the facility is fully operational,” HomeGoods spokeswoman Erika Tower said in an email.

Records in the Trumbull County Auditor’s Office show HomeGoods paid $5.9 million for properties related to the project. The company paid $2.8 million to DBR of Ohio, owned by the Radtka family, for 169.27 acres; $2.0 million to Harvey and Dolly Lutz for 121.75 acres; $700,000 to the Radtkas for a three-acre site with a 2,546-square-foot house; and $400,000 to Frederick Price for a 3.5-acre site with a 2,390-square-foot house.  

“My clients and I are very excited to see this project come to fruition,” said attorney Molly Johnson, representing the Lutz and Radtka families and DBR, said. “We are so appreciative that HomeGoods decided to fight the good fight — they have been extremely patient. We wish them great success in building and running their facility.”

Harvey Lutz, owner of Lutz Farms in Warren Township, is generally credited with galvanizing widespread support for the project. Last April, when opponents of the project demanded that the land TJX had selected for its distribution center remain zoned for agriculture — not industry as TJX requested, Lutz vowed to build chicken barns on his land on Hallock Young Road.

“We gave them a little taste of what it’s going to smell like,” he said at the time. “They have Choice A or Choice B,” the TJX HomeGoods distribution center or a chicken farm.

Radtka is a member of Lordstown Village Council. He abstained from casting votes on all measures related to the distribution center.

The project, which recently received certification from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, faced multiple hurdles over the past year, including a referendum on rezoning of several parcels and a court challenge.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Hill said. “It’s actually been about 15, 16 months, and my guess is we’ll have shovels in the ground before the end of April.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, which worked with TJX for the past three years, is gratified that the company “remained engaged throughout this extended process,” said the chamber’s chief operating officer, Sarah Boyarko. 

“We look forward to the start of construction and the employment of 1,000 residents. We are unbelievably proud to have such an impressive company make our community their new home,” she said.

Hill echoed the support for the incoming jobs, particularly given the uncertainty surrounding the recently idled General Motors Lordstown Complex.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to keep General Motors here but who knows where that’s at,” the mayor said.

The region needs jobs, the site is “a good place” for the distribution center and TJX officials have “done everything they could” to allay residents’ concerns. “Hopefully we’re moving in the right direction,” he added.

The HomeGoods’ spokeswoman expressed the company’s appreciation for those who supported the project from the beginning and throughout the planning process. “We look forward to becoming a contributing member of both the Lordstown community and the greater Mahoning Valley,” she said.

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13, praised the teamwork that made the project possible. I would like to give a special thank you to Senator Sean O’Brien, Representative Glenn Holmes, Mayor Hill of Lordstown, James Dignan at Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, and Jobs Ohio,” he said.

“This new facility will be a huge boon for Lordstown and our entire community at a time when we need it the most.”

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.