By Ryan Berry
GREENVILLE — Greenville and Darke County have been fortunate over the years to have quality manufacturing jobs available to residents. Whirlpool, Midmark, GTI, JAFE, Andersons Ethanol, Continental Carbonics and Spartech are a few of the names providing employment opportunities. Plus, there are industrial parks to the south and east of Greenville, as well as Versailles and Union City. However, Darke County Economic Development believes there could be more opportunities if these industrial parks had buildings ready to move into that were of varying sizes and could accommodate warehousing or manufacturing. In the industry, the buildings are known as “spec buildings.”
Greenville may soon be getting one of these buildings through the efforts of GPS Computer Services and More, LLC. Owner Geoff Surber recently learned he will receive assistance through the Rural Industrial Park Loan Program (RIPL) to help secure financing for building a 36,000 square foot facility. State Representative Angie King made the announcement on Monday afternoon that the Ohio Controlling Board approved the assistance for the Surber owned company.
The RIPL program helps the developer finance up to 75 percent of allowable project costs with loans ranging in size from $500,000 to $2.5 million. The development requires a minimum of 10 percent equity contribution from the borrower for the eligible project. The remaining eligible project costs are funded by the borrower either directly or indirectly through third-party investors and/or private lenders. This is a low interest rate loan over the period of 20 years. The rate can be as low as 0 percent for the first five years in order to allow the applicant to market the property.
Darke County Economic Development Director Mike Bowers is excited about the opportunity of having a spec building that can be shown to businesses looking to establish themselves in Greenville. Part of the requirements for the assistance is that the building cannot be used to entice a business to relocate jobs from one location to another without prior approval. Bowers pointed out there are no spec buildings at any of the industrial parks in Darke County, which he believes are needed.
The proposed building will be built on roughly three-acres of the approximately 10.5-acre site between Koenig Equipment and the Whirlpool Distribution Facility on KitchenAid Way. According to Surber, approximately three-acres will be used for this project. Other than utilizing the low-interest loan, Suber said he is financing the project from start to finish and using his own equity and financing. After the building is completed, the RIPL program pays off that financing and establishes a low-interest loan over 20 years. Surber will not receive any tax credits.
The building will be a high-bay warehouse designed for maximum utility for distribution or manufacturing. The site will be engineered to allow for further expansion in the form of an additional building and additions to each other. A 36,000 square foot building would be considered a small to mid-size building. In comparison the Whirlpool Distribution Center is over 300,000 square feet.
Surber said, “It is my hope the city and I can come up with a plan to move Greenville forward. The city’s cooperation is necessary for the project to proceed.” Surber hopes to be moving dirt within 90 days, which he says is contingent on the city’s requirements and zoning approvals.
Surber said it is his hope the building will become occupied immediately upon completion so he can begin another one.
To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].