• 55°

New building planned for The Point

SOUTH POINT - Constructing the first building was nice, so The Point industrial park leaders hope to capture that magic twice.

Plans are under way to build a second steel shell building in the 504-acre park just months after the first building was completed and leased in May to Engines Inc., the Milton, W.Va., -based company that is undergoing a $3 million expansion.

The Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation has been awarded a $1 million Rural Industrial Park Loan to construct a 40,000 square-foot building as part of a $1.5 million project leaders hope to use to attract new businesses to the developing park located between U.S. 52 and County Road 1.

"This is the way the state helps local communities develop community industrial parks," said Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the economic development group - the LEDC. "If all goes well, we could go to bid within two or three weeks."

Administered through the Ohio Department of Development, the loan will still have to be approved by the Ohio Controlling Board before any funds are released, something that is not likely to happen until at least August, Dingus said.

The state loan is at a 3 percent interest rate and would be repaid over a 10-year term.

Ideally, the project would be awarded to a contractor so work would begin sometime this fall, he said.

"We would love to have it ready for occupancy by early spring. We really hope to get another business in here soon," Dingus said. "Our problem here in the county is available building space."

The building, paid for by the loan and additional funds through the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone, will be constructed on approximately four acres of land across Commerce Drive from the new Engines Inc. location.

The property alone is valued at $325,000 and the building will be designed for a heavy manufacturing firm looking to create quality jobs, Dingus said.

Getting a building ready before a client is in place has been successful before and Dingus is confident lightning will strike twice.

"You have to kind of take some chances," he said. "We closed the (first) building on a Friday and had it leased by Monday."

In addition to Engines Inc., the industrial park has four tenants - Total Safety Inc., M&M Services Inc., Calgon Inc., and Mid-Valley Supply. Superior Marine Inc. and Marathon Ashland Petroleum have a presence within the park but do not operate out of physical buildings.