By LOU WILIN
Findlay’s downtown will get a major lift in the next three years when Marathon Petroleum Corp. spends $80 million to add two office buildings and two multi-level parking garages to its complex.
To make room, the former Elks building at 601 S. Main St. will be razed this spring. The former RCM Architects building at 613 S. Main St. will be razed in 2015. Trees, green spaces and employee gathering areas will replace them.
“There’s a lot of green space,” Marathon Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Gary Heminger said of the plan.
Besides boosting downtown, Marathon will address its office and parking needs.
It has added 300 employees in two and a half years, bringing its Findlay total to 1,900. It has been renting space around town for employees.
Plus, pipeline subsidiary MPLX LP, currently located in the Marathon Petroleum complex, will add 150 Findlay jobs by December 2017.
So, Marathon will add more than 550 work spaces with construction of a six-story, 120,000-square-foot MPLX LP headquarters on Hardin Street, and a three-story, 45,000-square-foot office and services building at the southwest corner of Sandusky and Beech streets.
The MPLX LP headquarters will front on Hardin Street, opposite the Marathon Petroleum main entrance.
“All over town we have employees in many different spots. You lose a lot of business continuity not having people together,” Heminger said. The construction projects will provide room for “more employees, much more parking, much more office space,” he said.
Two parking garages will be built. Construction will start this spring on one at the southeast corner of Sandusky and Beech streets. It will have 800 spaces on five levels.
A second parking garage, south of Hardin Street and over Beech Street, will have 1,200 spaces on six levels. Beech Street will remain open under the parking garage.
In the future, a corporate hotel/conference center for use by Marathon and possibly other companies could be built at the northeast corner of Main and Lincoln streets. The hotel would have about 100 rooms. Marathon is seeking investors to build that.
Marathon’s growth, combined with recent expansions at Blanchard Valley Hospital, the University of Findlay, and the coming $10 million Marathon Performing Arts Center downtown, will make Findlay stand out, Heminger said.
The City of Findlay is helping it happen by offering Marathon Petroleum up to $20 million in property tax savings.
Other communities were vying to become the location for Marathon Petroleum’s building and job expansions, Heminger said. Findlay would not have won them had it not offered the tax breaks, he said.
Wilin: 419-427-8413 Send an E-mail to Lou Wilin
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