The leadership that made possible a thriving business park on Defiance’s northeast side celebrated the success at an event there on Tuesday afternoon.
Executives and others gathered at Harmon Business Park – located west of Domersville Road and just north of the Maumee River – to commemorate the park’s first tenant, California-based A Packaging Group (APG).
Manufacturer of packaging for the cosmetics industry, especially metering pumps, APG plans to open in the first quarter of 2022. NAI Harmon Group said earlier this week that APG wants to hire 135 workers and manufacture out of 15 pumps. automated lines.
But before that happens, the ongoing 80,000-square-foot speculation building has yet to be completed.
Its bare steel beams and roof trusses served as the backdrop for several speakers who took to the podium in Tuesday’s brief presentation.
Among them was Ed Harmon, CEO of NAI Harmon Group. A developer in many states and based in the Toledo area, Harmon was encouraged to take a look at Defiance for about five years by Mayor Mike McCann.
We’re looking for businesses that can improve the community and be part of the community, âHarmon said. âAnd with the help of the mayor, Defiance, you are a hero to make this happen. Again, I would just like to say thank you for the support, but more importantly, for being able to create the kind of community we all want to be in. With the help of the mayor, city council and other city officials, you are making this happen. And I am committed to you, this is just the beginning. “
The comment refers to the possibility of subsequent construction projects in the park that will provide structures for potential businesses to move into and finish according to their needs.
McCann recalled his first meeting with Harmon in January 2015, followed by meetings and phone calls to get there.
He also thanked a number of local officials, including former Defiance County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) executive director Jerry Hayes, who had stressed the need for buildings to attract new businesses to the city.
But McCann reserved the most praise for the city’s chief financial officer, John Lehner, who worked on the tax aspects of the deal before city council approved a funding mechanism through ProMedica to acquire properties for the business park. The land was provided to NAI Harmon through CIC in return for the company’s investment in park infrastructure.
âThings like this don’t happen without John’s blessing,â McCann said. “They just don’t do it. John has a cool head and he’s a smart guy, and he understands money as well as anyone I know. Without John this wouldn’t have happened.”
APG vice president of operations John Allen thanked local officials for their vision.
âI would like to start by first thanking the leaders of the City of Defiance,â Allen said. âWithout a visionâ¦ things like this just don’t happen. APG was looking for a partner. We looked at several sites, several different states. I met Ed and the team just a few months ago. . It was a process to get to where we are today. But the team made it very easy for us to make the decision to come to Defiance, Ohio. “
Allen, who thanked state officials and others for their help, said there are opportunities to settle in several large Ohio communities. JobsOhio provided Harmon with funds and a loan for the construction of the building.
âWe had an opportunity where we could have traveled to several great different communities in Ohio and other states, but one thing attracted usâ¦ the community itself and the partnership between Harmon and JobsOhio is second to none, and I really thank you all for that. “
He added that APG wants to bring its “principles and values” to the workforce by developing employees and offering flexible hours.
So this is just a great opportunity for the folks at Defiance too, “Allen said.” … APG really believes in sustainability and being social and responsible, not only to the community giving back to the community, but also the environment itself. . We have a lot of great programs in place where we don’t throw anything, absolutely nothing, into landfills. â¦ And we are really looking forward to working with all of you and putting our stake in the ground in Defiance, Ohio. “
During his remarks, McCann told Allen, âI really look forward to working with you. And we’re here to help you succeed because we know that when you are successful, Defiance is successful. We know that when you grow up, we are growing. And we want to grow and we want to grow with you. “