West Chester recommends tax break for company to expand headquarters, add jobs

West Chester Twp. trustees made a move this week aimed at keeping a company that is looking to consolidate its operations in the region into a new headquarters and expand its workforce.

Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend terms of a proposed Enterprise Zone Agreement to the Butler County Board of Commissioners. If approved, the agreement would gives Kemba Credit Union a 75 percent tax exemption on new real property investment for seven years.

The company’s facility at 8763 Union Centre Blvd. serves as the corporate headquarters for the company and its affiliates. Front-office operations for the company are in several locations throughout the Tri-State area. Kemba wants to consolidate those operations into a new headquarters, according to the township.

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The credit union is considering its West Chester corporate headquarters location for expansion possibilities due to expanded business, township officials said.

Kemba is proposing to construct a 90,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in the Union Centre area in order to serve the growing needs of its clients and employees. It spent $1.7 million on Aug. 13 to purchase nearly seven acres of undeveloped land along Chappell Crossing Boulevard and next to its existing corporate headquarters, according to the Butler County Auditor’s Office.

The existing facility would retain its retail branch on the first floor and provide leasing opportunities for other office tenants exploring West Chester.

However, Kemba possesses land in other municipalities throughout the region that would serve to suit this project and also is considering other communities across the region, both in Ohio and Kentucky, according to the township.

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Kemba, which applied with West Chester Twp. for a tax exemption under the Ohio Enterprise Zone Program, has not made a final commitment to the township.

Trustee President Lee Wong told this news outlet Wednesday that company officials, including President and CEO Dan Sutton, expressed that Kemba is happy the township is working with them on the project.

Wong said he believes the deal for construction of the 10-story building, which will be the tallest building in West Chester Twp., will come to fruition as planned.

“It will be a great addition,” he said. “This shows the vitality of our township. West Chester is good for business.”

Company officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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Founded in 1934 to serve the needs of employees of the Kroger Company, the credit union manages assets in excess of $725 million throughout Southwest Ohio and serves more than 97,000 members and 800 companies through its network of 12 branches.

It has 208 employees across its network, with 108 located at its West Chester headquarters.

Kemba plans to create 40 new full-time positions with this expansion project with an average salary of $40,000 for a total $1.6 million in additional payroll.

Total investment in the project is estimated at $9.3 million, with $8 million allocated for property investment and $1.3 million for new machinery and equipment, according to the township.

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The tax exemption is contingent on three factors:

  • Kemba compensating Lakota Schools by annual payment for the term of the exemption
  • The company's compliance with other requirements in the agreement, including annual program fees to Butler County and West Chester Development Council
  • Permit approvals, if required, by the township's board of zoning appeals

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