Keystone Foods to Lease Warehouse in Ohio

OHIO - City Council's creation of a Community Reinvestment Area has paved the way for a Pennsylvania food distributor to move forward on a project that could bring 239 jobs to Fairfield.

Keystone Foods LLC plans to lease 200,000 to 250,000 square feet of warehousing space in the Port Union Commerce Center for its operation, said Philip Hurak, of Ernst & Young, who is representing Keystone.

"I think it will be a great project for Fairfield," Hurak said.

The company provides frozen meats and non-food supplies to fast food restaurants. It recently won a contract to supply restaurants in southern Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky.

Fairfield's proximity to the interstate system makes it a good location for the company's target area, officials said.

"There will be a lot of trucks coming (and going) so access to I-75 was important,'' said Tim Bachman, the city's development services director.

The reinvestment area agreement will provide a 10-year, 100 percent property tax abatement on improvements created by the project. The Fairfield Board of Education approved the agreement last week.

"Our schools approved it and that's huge,'' Bachman said.

Money the schools might have lost from the incentive package would be reimbursed from the city to the school district through collections of income tax from employees at the company.

Bachman said the company's payroll is estimated at $10 million or more, which would generate a minimum of $70,000 in net revenue annually.

A second incentive would waive permit fees related to the project, estimated at $10,000 to $15,000.

The company plans to spend $11.8 million to improve the property including the addition of coolers, freezers, dock equipment, electrical upgrades and office space.

Bachman said the lease would be for 15 years with provisions for several five-year extensions.


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