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Swagelok reaches deal to build global HQ, Innovation Center in Solon

September 18, 2018

Swagelok reaches deal to build global HQ, Innovation Center in Solon

SOLON, Ohio -- It took some doing, but the city has swung what is being hailed as one of the biggest deals in its history to allow the Swagelok Industrial Manufacturing Co. to build its global headquarters in town.

City Council on Monday introduced legislation expected to bring at least 400 new jobs and $87 million in additional payroll to the city over the next 10 years as part of a $30 million-to-$50 million investment in the new HQ and Innovation Center.

Final action will not take place until council’s Oct. 15 meeting, due to minimum notification requirements set by the Ohio Development Services Agency for the creation of a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) on company property at 29500 Solon Road.

In a press release, Swagelok officials said those new job numbers could go as high as 1,000 for the region in the coming years.

The industrial mainstay, headquartered in Solon since 1965, currently has 3,172 full-time permanent employees in Solon, part of nearly 4,700 jobs in Ohio, with an annual payroll of $281 million -- $218 million of that in Solon.

Under the proposed terms of a Job Creation Grant negotiated with the city and with assistance from JobsOhio, that should bring a total of 3,570 jobs to Solon by 2027, along with a projected annual payroll of nearly $328 million.

In addition to that grant and establishing the CRA as part of the incentive package, Solon has also agreed to put $3 million into infrastructure improvements to accommodate 120,000 square feet of new space.

The expansion will feature a state-of-the-art innovation center, welcome center and business operations center to house 300 to 350 associates, with room for future job growth.

Swagelok expects to break ground on its new campus in 2019, with completion targeted by the end of 2020.

“We are thrilled with the decision to remain in Solon and continue out partnership with the city that has been instrumental in our company’s growth,”  Swagelok Chairman and CEO Arthur F. Anton stated in the press release.

No less thrilled are Solon city officials who were faced with assembling an enticement package when the company issued a request for proposals from interested cities on May 2. Those RFP’s were due June 1.

 Mayor Ed Kraus thanked council’s Enterpise Committee, chaired by Bill Russo, along with Marc Kotora and Bob Shimits for putting in long hours over the summer, as well as City Finance Director Matt Rubino, Law Director Tom Lobe, Engineer John Busch and the Solon Chamber of Commerce.

 But a lot of the accolades went to City Senior Planner Linda Crombie for her efforts, some of which required her stepping out of her “comfort zone,” she noted, adding that she did not want to let the city down -- or Swagelok, for that matter.

“Swagelok has been an essential part of Solon’s success, and we are grateful for their continued partnership and commitment,” Kraus said in Tuesday’s press release. “Without Swagelok, there would be no Solon.”

Kraus told council Monday that Swagelok will remain one of the anchors for 819 other businesses in Solon that employ roughly 32,000 people in town.

“This is probably the biggest deal in the history of our community that will guarantee for many, many years to come, the history that we’ve had with Swagelok,” Kraus told council Monday. “What they’re doing is going to be groundbreaking.”

Specializing in fluid system products, assemblies and services for the oil and gas, chemical, transportation and power industries, the $2 billion privately-held company operates 200 sales and service centers in 70 countries.

“It was the company’s stated preference to remain in close proximity to several of its manufacturing facilities,” the Swagelok press release noted. “While certain corporate functions will be restructured and relocated, all current manufacturing facilities will remain in operation.”

Anton also thanked all of the municipalities, “both within and outside of Ohio, that responded with competitive offers to our RFP. We are honored by the level of responses.”

In the press release, Anton specifically acknowledged the efforts of the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Team NEO.

“This changes the map and changes the game for Solon,” Kraus told council Monday.

Saying she couldn’t be happier with the company’s decision, Vice Mayor Nancy Meany recalled a meeting over the summer with company officials.

“At the time, I said, ‘even if you don’t pick us, we’ll still love you,’” Meany mentioned. “But we really love you now.”

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