MANSFIELD -- Mansfield City Council on Tuesday approved the sale of land that could lead to the largest financial investment in the area in the last decade.
Council voted unanimously to to OK the sale of five acres at the Airport West Industrial Park to Airport West I, a local developer who plans to construct a building on the site for sale to a company in need of a new production and distribution facility.
The land is located near the intersection of Airport West Industrial Parkway and Crall Road.
Tim Bowersock, the city's economic development director, told council members the proposed development near Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport would "be a significant project" that could require additional land on an adjoining property if it goes forward.
Mansfield is one of three finalists for the project, according to Bowersock, who said it "would probably be the largest investment in the area in the last 10 years or so if it comes to pass."
"They have a non-disclosure agreement, so I can't discuss who it is at this point," Bowersock said. "They are in the final decision-making process.
"This will be a very good project in that it will be a significant number of jobs. And they will be primarily technology-related jobs, so they will be on the higher-pay end," Bowersock said.
It would be another large piece of economic good news for the Mansfield/Richland County metropolitan statistical area, which was ranked seventh in the nation during 2020 for significant economic projects per capita for areas under 200,000 in population by Site Selection magazine.
Bowersock said the company has visited the local site a couple of times.
"We believe we have a really good chance, but one of the things they stressed is the need to move quickly once they make their decision," Bowersock said in asking council to move quickly on the proposed sale.
City Council doesn't meet again until July 20.
The selling price is $15,000 per acre, according to the legislation, totaling $75,000. The sale would be done through the Richland County Growth Association, working as an agent for the City of Mansfield.
Bowersock said if the company selects Mansfield, he would likely return to council in July with a community reinvestment area property tax abatement request and also a job-creation tax credit agreement.
"Plus, there would possibly be an option for additional land for a phase two of this project. That is still being decided at the other end at this time."
It's the second such project in recent months for Airport West I, a partnership headed up by Adena Corp. President Randy Payne, located at 1310 W. Fourth St.
City Council in late 2020 approved a tax incentive package for Airport West I for the construction of a 160,000 square-foot industrial building/warehouse at 1750 Airport West Road.
Bowersock said that construction is continuing on that 15-acre initial site.