Lebanon OKs incentives for massive distribution center

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The Lebanon City Council on Monday night unanimously approved more than $2 million in tax incentives to lure a fast-growing logistics company that has proposed opening a major distribution center that would employ nearly 1,200 people.

XPO Logistics Supply Chain Inc. plans to lease an existing 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse on a 49-acre site at 135 S. Mount Zion Road, just southwest of Interstate 65.

The Piedmont, North Carolina-based company said it would hire 1,160 employees for the facility making an average annual wage of $37,275 plus benefits.

Pearson Education Ltd. previously used the building as a book distribution center, but it has been vacant since the end of 2014.

XPO plans to spend $30.8 million to equip the center with logistics, distribution and information technology systems, including conveyers, racking, scanners, computers and software. Work could begin as early as August and be completed by the end of 2018.

The Lebanon City Council approved a 10-year vacant building deduction, which is similar to a real property tax abatement, and can be used when certain buildings have been vacant for more than one year.

An limited liability company associated with Delaware-based Corporation Service Co. owns the facility. The vacant building deduction is expected to save CSC about $960,000 over the 10-year incentive period. The city expects to receive about $8.6 million in real property during the same time period.

XPO will be leasing the building, which was constructed in 1997 and 2001. The assessed value of the building is about $43.2 million.

The council also approved a 10-year personal property tax abatement for XPO that is expected to be worth a total of $1.3 million. The city expects to collect more than $1 million in personal property taxes in the same time period.

Boone County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Molly Whitehead said XPO is the first company to seriously consider the facility in nearly three years, and the longer the building remains vacant, the more difficult it will be to find a tenant.

“XPO’s investment in Lebanon will breathe new life into a building that has sat vacant for several years,” Whitehead said in a written statement. “This has been a true team effort and we look forward to working with XPO for years to come.”

XPO Logistics Supply Chain Inc. is a subsidiary of Greenwich, Connecticut-based XPO Logistics Inc., a public company that more than doubled revenue in 2016, to $15 billion, placing it No. 191 on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies. The company specializes in delivering big, bulky items ordered online.

The company says it operates in 34 countries, with over 89,000 employees and 1,431 locations. It conducts an average of 150,000 shipments daily.

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