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Elyria Council committees OK tax abatement for Multilink

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    The old Big Lots store at 1020 E.Broad St., Elyria.



ELYRIA — Big Lots moved out and now Multilink wants to move in.

The Elyria-based telecommunication company wants to expand into 1020 E. Broad St., the location of the former discount retailer.

Members of City Council’s Finance and Community Development committees approved an enterprise zone tax abatement agreement Tuesday with Multilink to help make way for the expansion. Multilink is requesting a 10-year, 75-percent abatement.

This will allow Multilink to buy and renovate the building for operations.

According to city documents, the acquisition budget is $1.2 million and the investment to improve the facility is between $175,000 and $300,000. The project will be completed by October.

The expansion will add three full-time employees within one year of project completion and result in $81,120 of new annual payroll to the city.

In its request, Multilink officials said the incentive package would help them compete better in their market.

“Multilink operates in a highly competitive marketplace where we compete with significantly larger, well financed entities as well as a significant portion of our customer base are large Fortune 500 enterprises that demand competitive pricing, quality products and accommodative working capital terms,” the letter read. “Multilink is confident it can be successful in this environment, but we need to leverage our partners to provide appropriate levels of support to keep our cost structure in line with what the market will accommodate as well as provide an acceptable chance of success given the risks that are being accepted.”

During the meeting, Council members also approved a second enterprise zone abatement agreement to allow Amware Distributions Warehouses to buy and move into the former 3M plant on Lowell Street. This will be the second Elyria location for the company after Council approved a similar enterprise zone agreement to allow the company to move into the former Riddell facility on Board Street.

The Amware deal also is a 10-year, 75-percent abatement that paves the way for acquisition and improvement of the facility. The acquisition budget is $4.2 million and the improvement budget is about $750,000. This will result in 5 full-time and 20 part-time jobs.

Amware also is in Sheffield after it broke ground earlier this year on a new facility at French Creek Business Park.

The incentive agreements garnered the praises of Council members, who said they want to see more economic development deals.

“We’re very fortunate that these deals are moving forward in the city of Elyria,” said Councilman Jack Baird, R-at large. “The main reason is our location and good work force that can fill the needs of these businesses.”

Councilman Tom Callahan, D-at large, said incentive deals are good examples of public/private partnerships that work.

“It is very encouraging to see this new trend,” he said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or Follow her on Twitter at @LisaRobersonCT and like her on Facebook.

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