Economic Development

TJX Withdraws Zoning Application, ‘Reconsidering’ Options

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The TJX Companies Inc. has withdrawn its rezoning request for land in Lordstown where it proposed building a $160 million distribution center for its HomeGoods division.

TJX is reconsidering its options for the project, the company announced this morning.

In early March, TJX disclosed plans to develop a 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse and distribution center on 290 acres in the village. Faced with resistance from a group of residents, it had withdrawn its zoning request last month and submitted amended plans intended to address the residents’ concerns. The changes were to be discussed at a planning commission meeting Wednesday.

“We have appreciated hearing from the Lordstown community over the past month and understand that a group of neighboring residents continue to have concerns about our HomeGoods distribution center project,” HomeGoods spokeswoman Erika Tower said in a statement.

“At HomeGoods, having a strong relationship with our communities is important to us and a core part of who we are and how we do business,” she continued. “Given this, we are respectfully withdrawing our zoning application from the Lordstown Planning Board and are reconsidering our options for this distribution center project.”

In response to a follow-up email asking whether Lordstown or any other Mahoning Valley sites remain under consideration, Tower said the company had nothing else to add at this time.

“I believe they’re going to be reviewing any and all options, which may or may not be here,” said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill.

Hill, who said he received a courtesy call from TJX just before the news release went out, said he would keep trying to bring the jobs here. The distribution center is projected to be completed in 2020 and would create about 1,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $27 million to $30 million.

“I’m going to continue to fight for my community and for the Valley. We need the jobs,” he said.

Hill said he was “amazed” at the resistance to the project in the wake of last week’s announcement that General Motors planned to eliminate the second shift at its Lordstown plant, affecting 1,500 workers.

“It’s a smaller group but it’s a very vocal group, and they aren’t going to give in,” the mayor said. “We have some people that want absolutely nothing” in the village.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.