The Clermont County CIC has sold its first property at South Afton Industrial Park to Duke Realty, which will build a $17 million, 617,760-square-foot, build-to-suit distribution facility for Design Within Reach, a furniture and home accessories company. Design Within Reach expects to employ 85 people at its facility.
A groundbreaking is scheduled for Aug. 15 and Duke Realty expects to finish the project by early 2019.
Duke Realty closed on its purchase of 46.83 acres at South Afton for $30,000 per acre on July 9. South Afton, which is located on State Route 32 at Half Acre Road in Williamsburg Township, is a 242-acre industrial park in Clermont County. The Clermont County CIC purchased the land in 2016 to develop a business-ready site that would be attractive for both manufacturing and distribution businesses.
“When Commissioners made the decision to purchase the South Afton property, and invest in the infrastructure, we knew that over time our commitment would pay off,” said Commissioner Ed Humphrey, President of the Board of County Commissioners. “We’re so pleased that Design Within Reach has decided to locate in Clermont County at South Afton Industrial Park, and bring 85 new jobs to our county. We believe that as more businesses locate to South Afton that it will be the home of hundreds of jobs, and be a spur to development in the eastern half of Clermont County.”
“We’re thrilled that our new facility will contribute to economic growth in the local area with the creation of many new jobs,” said John McPhee, President of Design Within Reach.
“This new facility will incorporate modern features that are designed to enhance storage, distribution and fulfillment capabilities and provide excellent access to several major highways,” said Dan Colletto, Vice President of Leasing and Development for Duke Realty in Cincinnati.
McPhee added that the location “will provide better access to I-77 and to the New York City metropolitan area, where we have a large client base and a significant portion of our deliveries take place.”
Under an Ohio Enterprise Zone agreement approved by the Board of Commissioners on July 25, the project was granted a 20% tax exemption for 10 years on real estate taxes, saving approximately $75,000 annually. The Williamsburg Township Board of Trustees approved the agreement on July 9.
On July 30, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved job creation tax credits for Design Within Reach.
The Clermont County CIC, an economic development entity of the county, has invested $2.5 million in infrastructure at South Afton to make it more desirable to potential customers. Beginning in late 2016 and continuing through 2017, the CIC added 2,000 linear feet of road, water main and sanitary sewers, storm water infrastructure, a natural gas line, and conduit for electric, telecom and fiber, making South Afton truly “shovel ready.”
“The county made a substantial investment into South Afton, and we are confident that over time we will see significant job growth here. The addition of 85 jobs in Williamsburg Township at South Afton Industrial Park is a promising first step in the development of this area of Clermont County,” said Commissioner David Painter. “We are thrilled to welcome Duke Realty and Design Within Reach to South Afton Industrial Park!”
“Duke Realty’s decision to buy 47 acres of land and build a new state-of-the-art distribution facility for Design Within Reach is a great vote of confidence for South Afton Industrial Park and Clermont County,” said Commissioner David Uible. “When we began South Afton, it was with the realization that not enough shovel-ready industrial sites were available in Greater Cincinnati. We fully intended South Afton to help fill that gap, and it will. South Afton will be a true spur to our county’s growth.”
Gary Jordan, Chairman of the Williamsburg Township Board of Trustees, said, “We’re excited to have Duke Realty and Design Within Reach as the first project at South Afton. We thank them for investing in Williamsburg Township and wish them the greatest success!
“We also appreciate the Clermont County Commissioners and the Clermont County economic development team for partnering with us to make South Afton Industrial Park a reality, and their leadership in creating the environment for companies to bring new jobs and invest in our community,” Jordan added. “This effort has been a shared vision and a common goal.”