Update: MAC Trailer May Open Kent Facility
Much has to happen before Alliance truck trailer manufacturer can open Kent facility
An Alliance truck trailer manufacturer's goal to expand into Kent is "not a done deal," but city officials remain hopeful.
MAC Trailer, a dump, flatbed and transfer trailer builder based in Alliance, is considering expanding into a now-vacant former trailer facility on Fairchild Avenue.
But a lot of stars need to align to make the move happen.
Jim Maiorana, executive vice president for MAC, said they have been considering moving into Kent for about four weeks.
"As of this moment, nothing is happening," Maiorana said "There is no firm commitment."
He declined to comment further.
City officials, however, remain optimistic that as many as 163 jobs — and a $6 million payroll — could be in Kent by MAC's second year in business here.
"At this point, MAC Trailer is still trying to put the deal together," Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said. "This is obviously not a done deal yet."
Aside from either buying or leasing the facility, MAC and city officials also need to work through several steps in the Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit program, which Smith said is necessary to make the expansion happen.
MAC is considering the former Fontaine Trailer complex at 1440 Fairchild Avenue. Last fall, Liberty Tire, a tire recycling operation considered moving into one of the buildings on site but dropped those plans a few months ago.
Unlike Liberty Tire, which was considering just a portion of the former Fontaine complex, MAC is looking at moving into the entire facility, which had been advertised for sale at more than $4 million.
Maiorana did say he was hoping to hear soon about a potential land deal to get MAC into the Fairchild Avenue complex.
Smith said one complicated aspect of the potential move is coordinating the Ohio job creation tax credit with Kent's own Job Creation Tax Credit Program, which is designed to provide companies with an incentive to locate, or expand, in the city. The credit is upt o 24 percent of the municipal income tax withheld on the qualifying new jobs for a term of up to five years — or up to the term offered by the state.
First, they must apply to the state credit in July, Smith said.
"So that’s the first hurdle to clear, to get approval of the state tax credit," he said. "Then Kent’s tax credit piggy backs off that. As with many things, it’s not a done deal. A lot of things still have to happen."
In a report to Kent City Council, Smith said MAC has been in high-growth mode for the past few years and recently added more than 200 new jobs. The possible expansion in Kent would be all new jobs.
"People need to realize it’s not a done deal," Smith said. "We’re trying to get it worked out. That’s kind of the bottom line. That type of investment and company would be a tremendous boost to the city of Kent.
"If all these things get approved in July, we believe they could make the investment and actually get started as early as August," he said. "That’s a big ‘what if’ all the programs come together."