LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Local leaders and businesses have a lot to say about the project that could bring 1,000 jobs to the Valley.
Homegoods, a division of TJX, wants to build a distribution center in Lordstown. TJ Maxx and Marshalls are also divisions of TJX.
Mayor Arno Hill said Lordstown can’t get any luckier.
“This one here could be a generational changer.”
The project would cost $160 million and create a thousand jobs over five years.
“When was the last time you heard about 1,000 jobs coming into the Valley? It could have been possibly V & M Star in Girard and Youngstown,” Hill said.
If everything goes according to plan, the Homegoods distribution center would be on 300 acres along Bailey Road, just past the turnpike. But before they can get building, Lordstown has to address a few issues — like zoning.
Right now, the area is a residential zone. Lordstown would have to make it industrial for the Homegoods facility to go up.
“We don’t want to change the zoning unless we have a lock on who’s coming in here, and they promised me that they would do that,” Hill said.
Some people are skeptical about the noise and traffic a project like this would bring.
Samantha Davis, who works at Pizza Joe’s, disagrees. She said this town needs jobs and the project is a blessing.
“People need to focus more on the positives of it. There are distribution centers down the road right now and they’re not causing any problems. Things haven’t really changed for Lordstown, so I think it’s going to be positive overall.”
Hill hopes Monday night’s public meeting with TJX officials will help clear up any confusion.
“I think a lot of it, once they explain it and show where it’s going to go, and how they’re going to be buffering and blocking the neighborhoods and everything else, I’m hoping that some of that goes away,” he said.
After that meeting, a planning commission will meet to restructure zoning in that area but it’s up to council to make the final approval.