Shalersville tax deal heads to a vote in Streetsboro and the township this week

Shalersville trustees pictured left to right at a May 2022 meeting: Frank R. Ruehr, Jr., John Kline, Ron Kotkowski. Max Swartout/The Portager

The proposed Joint Economic Development District agreement between Shalersville Township and the City of Streetsboro will go before trustees and council members over the next few days to make the deal official.

Streetsboro City Council is set to log its last vote on the agreement June 15; Shalersville’s final approval is set for June 16.

The JEDD could still be sidelined if, for instance, citizens form a referendum campaign and send the issue to the ballot, Shalersville Trustee John Kline said.

The 50-year JEDD agreement affects some 470 acres that Streetsboro-based Geis Companies plans to develop just north of the Ohio Turnpike near the Shalersville interchange.

The JEDD agreement states the Geis Companies’ eventual goal of providing more than 2,600 jobs. Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Shalersville will reap 65% of gross income tax receipts while Streetsboro rakes in 35%.

County commissioners and Shalersville trustees have already given their nod to a tax abatement (aka Enterprise Zone Agreement), which provides Geis with tax relief on improvements to the property. Streetsboro does not need to sign off on EZAs, and the county does not have anything to do with JEDD agreements, said Portage Development Board President Brad Ehrhart.

Under the terms of the EZA, Geis will hold no tax responsibility for increases in assessed value associated with developing the land for 15 years. The agreement is contingent on Geis or its tenants creating 375 new full-time, permanent jobs by December 2026.

If the agreement is fulfilled, Geis or the company’s tenants will see an additional $15 million in annual payroll, of which, per the JEDD, Streetsboro will keep 35% and Shalersville will keep 65%, Streetsboro Economic Development Director Patrick O’Malia said.

Plans for the building, according to a report by Crain’s Cleveland, detail a massive structure with a footprint of just over 1 million square feet. This will include 220 docks and parking for 330 trailers and 900 cars.

There also will be plenty of room to expand the structure far beyond its original size. The property can support millions of additional square feet of development depending on what types and sizes of users become tenants.

Geis is partnering with Atlanta-based company Stonemont Financial Group to co-own the project. The hope is that the lack of major industrial space along the I-80 corridor will make the Shalersville property attractive for prospective occupants, including e-commerce companies.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.