Subscribe to Toledo Business Journal

As published in Toledo Business Journal - July 1, 2021

The Love’s Travel Shops project created 50 new jobs for the City of Napoleon

The Love’s Travel Shops project created 50 new jobs for the City of Napoleon

$10.5M Love’s constructed in Napoleon

Love’s Travel Stops constructed a new $10.5 million, 20,000 square foot facility in the City of Napoleon. According to April Welch, executive director, Henry County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), the project came to the organization through the Maumee Valley Planning Organization (MVPO).

“Love’s Travel Stop was looking for a location, the land was available, and the location was great,” said Welch. “This project was purely market driven. Napoleon is ideally situated for a lot of businesses. Napoleon has great highway access and is within close proximity to the larger Fort Wayne and Toledo markets.”

According to Welch, planning for the facility started in late 2018 and the project began construction in August 2020 and finished in December. The facility includes an Arby’s restaurant, a convenience store, and a truck vehicle service garage with tire sales. It also provides fueling for both semi-trucks and passenger vehicles.

Love’s Travel Shops is open 24 hours, seven days a week, and the project created 50 new jobs for the City of Napoleon.

“With the addition of Love’s, Napoleon has become a hub for over-the-road truck drivers and is a convenient stopping point. Napoleon owns and operates its own electric, water, and sewer utilities, so the addition of Love’s is a welcome addition that helps drive more utility usage,” said Welch.

The project received a $500,000 community development block grant (CDBG) for infrastructure improvements. There was an approximate total of $2 million in roadway and infrastructure improvements and the facility construction and site preparation was an investment of approximately $8.5 million by Love’s, noted Welch.

The Love’s Travel Shops facility located in Napoleon

The Love’s Travel Shops facility located in Napoleon

“There are over 300 acres of land available for development in Napoleon, most of which is zoned for industrial use, and some for commercial use. The City of Napoleon used this project and other projects that have been developed in this area as an opportunity to leverage additional funds for more infrastructure improvements,” said Welch.

Welch went on to explain that in December 2020, the Napoleon City Council passed an ordinance establishing a 30-year rolling tax increment financing (TIF) district. The TIF district funds will be used to fund the reconstruction of the roadways in this area to accommodate the increased truck traffic.

“The original roads were built as County roads before the properties in this area annexed into the City and were not built for this type of traffic. The City is in the process of applying for an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) loan to fund the project and the TIF funds will be used to pay back the loan amount. City officials are hopeful that the SIB loan can be paid off sooner than the 20-year term of the loan. The City was also able to secure funding in partnership with the MVPO. $250,000 was received from 629 funds, $200,000 from the TIF, and $150,000 from ODOT Jobs and Commerce,” said Welch.

Other projects that have been developed in this area since 2018 include the development of a 200,000 square foot manufacturing facility for JAC Products, a Tier 1 auto supplier. This project was completed in late 2018 and was at full capacity by the end of 2019, which created nearly 400 manufacturing jobs. Another project was the development of nearly 70,000 square feet of industrial space for C&C Fabrication, an operation that employs approximately 20. C&C fabricates truck beds for commercial construction materials delivery vehicles.

Also, the construction of Paul Martin & Sons was completed in 2020. This long-time Henry County business outgrew its previous location in Gerald, and moved to the site adjacent to the Love’s Travel Stop. Paul Martin & Sons is a farm implement dealership, and the expansion has helped give this business great visibility from US-24. Other projects in the pipeline for this area include the development of a crematory and other industrial expansions for existing businesses, noted Welch.