Officials with both the city of Kent and MAC Trailer can breathe a sigh of relief today now that to bring the company to Kent.
Dan Smith, Kent's Economic Development Director, said the firm finalized the deal on Friday to expand into the former Fontaine Trailer facility at 1400 Fairchild Ave.
"It feels great to see MAC Trailer setting up operations with plans to hire 200-plus local workers with good-paying jobs," Smith said. "All too often we hear the opposite happening. Jim Maiorana and the entire Mac Trailer team are to be credited with their successful business practices and vision that have enabled them to make this type of investment possible."
Maiorana, MAC's executive vice president, said they had been considering the move to Kent since early May.
"The biggest reason was the facility itself," Maiorana said. "It’s perfect for our operation. It was a trailer manufacturing company, and that’s what we purchased it for, to build trailers. So it worked out perfect for us.
“On top of that, we do feel there is an outstanding work force in this area," he said.
The firm for various positions at the Kent plant. The company expects to employ about 250 people at the Kent location within 18 to 24 months. They already build trailers in Salem and Alliance.
A mix of state and local Job Creation Tax Credit programs were used to help MAC buy the manufacturing complex, which is valued at $3.9 million by the Portage County Auditor's Office for tax purposes.
The property is zoned industrial, and MAC's trailer manufacturing will be a very similar operation to the last company there. Smith said there are no plans for additions or construction at the site, so the city doesn't anticipate any need for rezoning or site plan approvals.
Maiorana said they'll be building trailers at the Kent plant within a week.
"(Gov. John Kasich's) economic development team, especially Nate Green, also played a pivotal role in working with MAC and the city of Kent to make this project viable," Smith said. "There are hundreds of ways a project like this falls apart. I am extremely pleased that team Kent and our partners have the resilience required to make a project of this magnitude a reality.
"Without question, this project will create additional synergy with the downtown revitalization efforts," he said. "I strongly believe this is yet another example of how Kent is both investment ready and worthy."