The pallet and packaging producer Orbis Corp. searched widely for room to grow, but satisfied its outsized space requirement within 3 miles of its existing operation in Mentor, Ohio, allowing it to consolidate into one site from two locations.
The subsidiary of Neena, Wis.-based Menasha Corp. has leased 276,000 square feet at the former Caterpillar plant in Mentor, now an industrial park that S.L. Equities of Los Angeles created by subdividing the site.
Orbis plans to consolidate operations and logistics from two locations. It will retain about 150 jobs in the suburb, with plans to add 25 to 80 jobs during the next decade. The investment of more than $15 million will cover the costs to move and outfit the new location, according to a report Orbis filed to obtain incentives from the city of Mentor.
Christopher Livingston, principal and managing director of the Avison Young brokerage's Cleveland office, said the important thing about the transaction, which his brokerage handled for Orbis, is that it "elected to stay here." Finding that much space is no small task with industrial vacancy at just 4 percent in northeast Ohio.
Ron Traub, Mentor director of economic and community development, said even though the two locations are close, "Orbis still has to put heavy equipment on a truck to move it." The deal is a plus, he added, because the company will empty two smaller locations that will provide options for other companies in the suburb.
Mentor has agreed to provide a 10-year incentive grant to Orbis, which will provide the company a check equal to 10 percent of the municipal income tax on the additional payroll it expects to add. Altogether, Mentor will cut checks for Orbis totaling at least $1.7 million over the decade, according to Traub's estimates.
For the company's part, Samantha Goetz, Orbis marketing communications manager, declined comment in an email because details of the project are still in the planning stage.
The move comes just months after Orbis opened a new design and prototyping center in Spartanburg, S.C.
The OrbiShield Design Center is 7,700 square feet and puts company employees closer to clients in the Southeast.