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Home > News > Investing in Economic Development

Investing in Economic Development

Date posted: February 13, 2017

Investing in Economic Development

Stark Community Foundation believes economic development serves as the catalyst for addressing the root cause of social problems within communities. As one of the Foundation’s key focus areas, it is investing in two economic development projects that have the potential to shape the future of Stark County — the Hercules project and Stark County Farm. Both projects will create jobs, increase tax revenue and stimulate the economy, all the while producing better outcomes for individuals and families.

Hercules Project
Stark Community Foundation recently closed a $3 million funding gap for the Hercules project by providing a five-year loan for the redevelopment of the former Hercules Motors Company site in downtown Canton.

In order to complete phase one of the project, the funding gap needed to be addressed. The first phase, which includes the creation of 90 market-rate apartments covering three acres of the site, is expected to cost more than $35 million and will be completed by November 2017.

“We felt it was important to invest in this economic development project because it will have a significant impact on individuals and families in our community while also restoring the heritage and character of Canton,” said Mark J. Samolczyk, president and CEO of Stark Community Foundation. “One of our goals as a community foundation is to improve the quality of life for residents in our community, and this project has the potential to do that.”

According to the real estate developer of the industrial site, Cormony Development LLC, the rustic apartments will feature exposed brick, abundant natural light through large windows, private courtyards, community green spaces, a lower-level community room, convenient parking and more.

Other funding sources for phase one include Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund, U.S. Bank N.A., Foss & Company, KeyBank and the city of Canton.

Future phases of the mixed-use development project will include additional residential units, office and retail spaces. Development costs are expected to approach $100 million.


Stark County Farm
Stark Community Foundation, along with five other local foundations, pooled their resources to purchase the Stark County Farm, a 327-acre farm located in the village of Navarre and Perry Township for $2.25 million. Their intent is to develop the land into a Class A Industrial Park, generating economic growth and job creation for our community.

The public-private partnership is being funded by Stark Board of Trade, LLC, a nonprofit created by Stark Community Foundation, Hoover Foundation, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Massillon Development Foundation, DeHoff Family Foundation and Gessner Family Foundation. Stark Board of Trade was created in 2016 to help assist in attracting businesses to our community and generating opportunities for our residents, similar to Canton Board of Trade some 130 years ago. These leaders attracted well known and successful businesses to town including Timken Roller Bearing, Diebold Safe and Lock Company and Dueber Hampden Watchworks.

“This public-private partnership is unique in that local foundations are coming together to drive economic growth in Stark County,” said Mark. “Long term, this industrial economic development project will have a notable impact on the county’s job market.”

Tenants in the industrial park could be new businesses, businesses that want to expand their operation or businesses looking to relocate to the area. In the near future, site preparation work will begin in addition to recruiting industrial businesses to the park.

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