AVON LAKE - City Council approved a tax abatement Monday night that clears the way for Hinkley Lighting to move its Lakewood-based headquarters to Avon Lake.
Hinkley sought the 75 percent,
10-year abatement before it would agree to relocate its entire operations and 80 jobs from its Lakewood facility to property located at Pin Oak Parkway in Avon Lake.
The relocation will create a total of six new permanent full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $225,000.
The first phase of the project, to be completed in 2008, will involve the purchase of the property and the construction of a new 200,000-square-foot warehouse, according to the abatement.
The second phase will be the construction of a 30,000-square-foot office space to house Hinkley`s headquarters.
Hinkley will invest more than $17.5 million into the project, which is slated to begin no earlier than Feb. 15.
According to its Web site, Hinkley Lighting specializes in products such as chandeliers, sconces and energy-saving outdoor fixtures.
The abatement still requires approval from the Avon Lake school board; however, city officials expected unanimous approval.
In other business, City Council is considering rezoning more than 16 acres of land along Webber Road from its light industrial designation to allow for 80 units of attached cluster homes, similar to those along Moore Road in Avon Lake, Mayor Rob Berner said.
Although several Council members said they were considering putting the issue to a citywide vote, Berner said the lack of public interest at the meeting could signify the need for Council to make a decision on its own.
"I`m not sure the city is all that concerned about the issue of rezoning," Berner said.
Resident John Walker told Council to consider the traffic issues brought about by the rezoning.
It took a citywide vote to rezone the land from residential to industrial in the mid-1990s.
But to shift it back will take only a vote of the Council, which could decide the issue Dec. 10.
Of Avon Lake`s more than 1,300 acres zoned for industrial use, 179 acres are zoned light industrial, said Councilman James Simonovich, 2nd Ward, and about 60 percent of the industrial zoned land already has been developed.
Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or email@example.com.