550 jobs leaving Elyria as Bendix opens new, multi-million dollar brake plant in Avon

Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 6:46 PM EST
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ELYRIA, Ohio (WOIO) - One Northeast Ohio city’s loss is another one’s gain. After nearly 80 years in Elyria, Bendix Commercial Vehicle System’s is moving its world headquarters to Avon.

The future site of the 199,000-square-foot campus will be located on Chester Road next to Menards.

In a recent Facebook video, Elyria’s Mayor, Frank Whitfield, said, “Bendix had decided they wanted to leave our city four years ago.”

However, Whitfield wasn’t willing to give up that easy on the city’s second largest employer.

Earlier this month, Elyria’s businesses tried persuading Bendix to stay put during what they called #bendixweek. “Elyria showed up and showed out. you got creative and showed our businesses have come a long way,” said Mayor Whitfield.

Bendix works on all aspects of commercial brakes for truck companies. Its vision is, “We will become the leading worldwide supplier of active vehicle safety systems within the commercial vehicle industry."

Elyria’s 550 employees will soon call the $55 million headquarters in Avon their new home.

Avon’s Economic Development and Planning Coordinator, Pam Fechter, said, “It’s good for Northeast Ohio. We do hate for Elyria that they are losing these employees, but there was that threat that they were going to leave the state all together. So, we were very fortunate. We just decided when we heard they were going to leave we are going to ramp up and make some offerings to keep them in this area."

That offering is a 14-year, 90% property tax abatement followed by a seven year cash incentive equal to 25% of city income tax withheld from new positions that are created.

Fechter says there has been some backlash, “We did just need to give them something to help them on the front end with the money to build their building given that abatement. Just hold off a little bit on that money. It will be back to us in no time.”

Fechter estimates an additional 150 to 200 new jobs down the road. She says groundbreaking should start in April and the new Bendix world headquarters should be open in November 2021.

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