J. Rayl Transport HQ Renovations Completed
J. Rayl Transport, Inc.
Akron, Ohio (June 2021) – Construction was recently completed on the J. Rayl Transport headquarters facility. Based in Akron since 1987, J. Rayl Transport is a family owned and operated transportation & logistics company that now provides service throughout the eastern United States.
As J. Rayl Transport grew over the years, it found its headquarters were in need of modernization. In addition to being dated, the existing property lacked adequate office and parking space needed to expand operations, and the amenities provided to drivers were below industry standards. Owner/Founder Tim Rayl determined that facility improvements were “essential to the long-term success of the company,” and that the “creation of a showcase facility [would] attract both drivers and support personnel.”
The City and County brought the project to the attention of the Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA) and its partner organizations, the Development Fund of the Western Reserve (DFWR) and the Western Reserve Community Fund (WRCF). Chris Burnham, DFA President, realized that the project fit into the “mission-based lending” platforms of DFWR and WRCF, each of which DFA manages. The lending team was led by Rachel Bridenstine, who is Managing Director of DFWR and Executive Director of WRCF.
Strong community support, coupled with the prospect of retaining 250+ existing Akron jobs (and creating an additional 90+ quality full-time jobs over the next several years), made the decision to finance an easy one. DFWR ultimately provided a $1.67M loan to the project, and WRCF provided an additional loan of $100,000. J. Rayl also worked with the Summit County Land Bank to secure $25,000 to remediate an adjoining property located at 1201 S. Arlington (the former REX Salvage Store), removing a blighted structure from the neighborhood. J. Rayl Transport financed the remaining cost with its own equity, including a line of credit with Huntington National Bank.
Renovations added 3 acres of truck, tractor and employee parking, created much-needed conference and workstation space, and provided other amenities including new restrooms/locker rooms, break rooms, a kitchen, and a lounge. The company is hosting a ribbon-cutting event at 10:00a.m. on June 16th to allow community partners and press an opportunity to see the improvements in person.
“J. Rayl Transport and this renovation project are models of how investment in workforce and facility can foster an exemplary workplace that contributes to the growth of the community,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, adding that he was “proud of the ways our local economic development system was able to assist this Akron company in their modernization and growth efforts while remaining right here in Akron.”
Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro stated that “Summit County is pleased to participate in the coordination of efforts alongside DFA and the Summit County Land Bank to support J. Rayl Transport and their newly renovated facility. Part of the success of the Elevate Greater Akron strategy is this type of partnership – responding to homegrown businesses’ needs in tangible ways in order to truly support and help them grow.”
J. Rayl Transport began with founders Tim Rayl and Jim St. John, who owned five trucks on a private farm; today, its fleet includes over 400 tractors, 1200 trailers and nearly 400 employees, with seven strategically located terminals in Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and Texas.
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