Developer looking at creating 900K square feet of industrial space in eastern Springfield

·2 min read

Aug. 6—The city of Springfield is considering a request to rezone 53 acres of property in the east that will be of part of a larger effort to create 900,000 square feet of industrial space.

The land in question is located on Laybourne Road and is slated to be combined with another parcel of land, currently going through the process of being annexed into city, to create a total of 80 to 100 acres that could be used for manufacturing and warehouse distribution.

NorthPoint Development, which is involved in another project that is building a Gabriel Brother's distribution facility at the Prime Ohio II Industrial Park, is looking to build two separate buildings or one combined facility on land that includes 53.6 acres on Laybourne.

That project is expected to create a total of 900,000 square feet of additional industrial space in the city and is separate to what is going on with the retailer Gabrielle Brothers, according to Springfield officials.

"It is speculative development at this point. There is no tenant coming in right now, but (NorthPoint) is going to be marketing this site. It is very much the way that Gabe's happened as well. Prime Ohio II was rezoned and ready to go and marketed for development by NorthPoint. Then ultimately they landed that one tenant that took if off," said Tom Franzen, the assistant city manager and director of economic development for Springfield.

It was announced last year that the department store chain Gabriel Brothers would be investing $77.5 million in the area and constructing a 870,000-square-foot distribution center. The facility aims to support the company's current operations, which includes 120 stores in more than a dozen states, as well as accommodate future growth for the company.

The distribution center is slated to be completed by the end of this year and is expected to create 833 full-time equivalent jobs. However, the actual number of jobs created could be a mix that includes more than 700 full-time jobs and over 300 part-time jobs, Springfield officials have said.

NorthPoint, a national commercial real estate developer, is now setting its sites on land on Laybourne in order to build a new facility that will generate more economic development in the area.

Franzen said he does not know if NorthPoint has closed on a purchase, involving land that will be used for their new project, at this time. He said that in similar cases, those purchases are often dependent on whether the land is rezoned.

Representatives of NorthPoint did not respond to a request for comment as of Friday afternoon. It is also unclear when construction on the site will start and how much money will be invested for the creation of the new industrial space.

Springfield city commissioners will be asked to vote to approve the rezoning request for the acres on Laybourne at their next public meeting on August 16.