Foundation, City Partner to Develop Barberton Site
By Kate DeAngelis
In November, Barberton Community Foundation purchased the former B&P Polishing property located at 401 Newell Street in Barberton, Ohio. The long-vacant, 36-acre site will be redeveloped for industrial use and several prospects have been identified, with a local company already claiming 15 of those acres for expansion.
The Foundation has a history of economic development activities primarily through a Program Related Investment (PRI) program with Barberton Community Development Corporation. This purchase is a further step in the Foundation playing a larger role in economic development in Barberton. The Foundation is partnering with the City of Barberton to develop the site, as areas for industrial development within the city are limited.
Barberton Mayor William Judge stated, “Working with Barberton Community Foundation on this project has been very positive. We know that development is a marathon, not a sprint; this is true collaboration that will greatly impact the community for many years to come.”
Stressing the importance of continued collaboration, Mayor Judge added, “My administration is devoted to increasing the number of livable wage jobs in Barberton and collaboration like this is vital to progressive and sustainable development here in town.” The Newell site is expected to accommodate up to 300 new manufacturing and industrial jobs at full buildout.
The Foundation hired Environmental Design Group in Akron to provide site layout and other civil engineering services for the site and anticipates that lots will be able for sale by the second quarter of this year. Ted Herncane, director of economic development for Barberton Community Foundation, said, “We are excited to partner with the City of Barberton on this project. We both have the same goal which is to provide shovel ready sites for companies to grow and add jobs in the community.”
As a supporting organization, the Foundation is no stranger to partnering with the City of Barberton and Barberton City Schools on various projects. The first grant made by the Foundation was on February 2, 1997. The Foundation Board voted to fund the $32 million necessary to build an entirely new facility for Barberton High School. This grant was contingent on the citizens of Barberton approving a $32 million bond issue, which they did. Thanks to this agreement, the Foundation ultimately saved Barberton taxpayers $58 million in real estate taxes. In 2021, the Foundation celebrated the last debt payment on Barberton High School, which has allowed for increased funding for economic development.
About Barberton Community Foundation
Barberton Community Foundation was established in November 1996, when the citizens of Barberton overwhelmingly supported taking an original gift of $86 million in funds and securities from the sale of Barberton Citizens Hospital and establishing a permanent endowment. Interest earned from the funds enables grants to be distributed in support of the Barberton community, city and schools over time.
Since its establishment, the Foundation has awarded over 8,500 grants and scholarships totaling more than $109 million. The Foundation strives to improve, now and forever, the quality of life for Barberton residents by providing leadership on vital issues, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good. To read more about Barberton Community Foundation visit www.barbertoncf.org or follow us on Facebook.
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