November 28, 2002

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Antioch Company to move part of facility to Fairborn

The area on Dayton-Yellow Springs Road near I-675, which has attracted commercial business for years, will get a piece of Yellow Springs when The Antioch Company transfers a part of its Antioch Publishing distribution operations to Commerce Boulevard in Fairborn.

Beginning Feb. 1, according to company Operations Manager Carol Gasho, 20 to 25 employees and around $500,000 worth of equipment and machinery, mostly from the journal manufacturing division, will move to the Roberds warehouse facility, which the company will call “Yellow Springs West.” The company will gain a total of 57,000 square feet of storage and operations space needed to accommodate an overall 20 percent annual growth rate.

“We need more space, and adding on to the north side of the Yellow Springs plant doesn’t lend itself to the best plant layout,” Gasho said.

Along with the move, The Antioch Company has applied for a 75 percent tax abatement from the City of Fairborn through the Ohio Enterprise Zone Program. The company expects the Fairborn city council to approve some or all of the exemption when it meets in early December, but the company will move its operations regardless of whether it receives the abatement.

“It’s more an issue of us having enough space. But the building was already [available] in Fairborn, and Greene County has been more active in helping out with the tax exemption than Yellow Springs was able to,” said Ole Dam, the company’s vice president of operations.

Company officials expressed additional concerns about villagers’ attitudes about local industries. Antioch is located in a residential area, where resistance to expansion and environmental issues could possibly arise, Gasho said.

“Not that we’re worried about pollution, but villagers are always expressing concern about environmental issues and you never know when they’ll start asking for all kinds of things,” Gasho said. “Their past behavior indicates they don’t care much about big business.”

The Antioch Company’s property, however, is next to nearly 40 acres of farmland, which is part of the Pitstick Farm, which Village Council and the Miami Township trustees have targeted for commercial development.

When asked if the company approached the Village about expanding in Yellow Springs, Gasho said, “I can’t say we pushed the Village wholeheartedly for incentives.”

Village Manager Rob Hillard said The Antioch Company never formally presented a plan to the Village. “We were and still are open” to discussing options for business development in town, he said.

Consistent with the 10 percent of the company’s employees who live in Yellow Springs, two of the workers scheduled to move to Fairborn reside in the village. The importance of maintaining proximity between employees and the company’s headquarters in town affects the company’s decision to keep its operating units close by, Gasho said.

“It’s our policy to keep employee-owners within an 8 to 10 mile radius so they can attend meetings and be there for parties and still be a part of the overall community,” Gasho said.

The company employees 175 people in Yellow Springs.

The Antioch Company expects to sign a lease this week and begin operations in Fairborn by next March.


—Lauren Heaton