Abbott building $536M formula plant in BG: 450 jobs, $266,000 annually for schools

By Peter Kuebeck, [email protected]

A rendering of the Bowling Green Abbott plant.

supplied photo

Abbott has selected a Bowling Green site for a new manufacturing facility that will produce specialty and metabolic powder nutritional products.

Abbott will invest $536 million into the new facility, which will be built on Nims Road and Ohio 25, and create 450 new jobs.

The tax abatement deal will give Bowling Green City Schools approximately $266,000 annually for 15 years.

VIDEO: Abbott will build $500 million facility in BG

A press event was held Thursday at the Veterans Memorial Building in City Park, after Bowling Green City Council and the board of education approved agreements with Abbott.

David Topp, senior director for government affairs with Abbott, said that they plan for groundbreaking on the facility in 2023, with the site complete in 2026. He said that they expect commercial production to begin in 2027.

“Bowling Green is the perfect place for this critical manufacturing facility to raise the capacity of formula production in the United States,” said Bowling Green Economic Development Executive Director Kati Thompson. “Abbott’s investment in Northwest Ohio proves our region’s readiness to supply the healthcare industry with the skilled workforce, resources, and business environment that will allow this life-saving facility to thrive.”

Bowling Green Council and the board of education on Thursday each held brief special meetings related to the announcement and approved agreements with Abbott.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of many months of hard work by Kati Thompson and so many others on behalf of the citizens of Bowling Green,” Mark Hollenbaugh, council president, told the Sentinel. “This is a tremendous economic investment in our community that will provide quality jobs and opportunities for decades to come.”

During the special board of education meeting, members voted unanimously to accept a Bowling Green Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement and school donation agreement between Abbott and the school district.

Thompson said that involves a 15-year property tax abatement. Bowling Green schools will be receiving payment in lieu of taxes in an amount just under $266,000 annually for 15 years, with Penta receiving just under $24,000 annually for 15 years, she said.

Council introduced, gave three readings to, and unanimously approved a resolution to approve agreements and authorize Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter to sign agreements between the city and Abbott to provide incentives for project development in the Bowling Green Community Reinvestment Area East.

Mayor Mike Aspacher welcomed Abbott to Bowling Green and said they would discover what others already know: “Bowling Green is a great place to do business.”

He said that the effort to bring Abbott to the city involved critical cooperation and partnerships.

“This is Bowling Green coming together to better our community,” Aspacher said.

Aspacher credited both Thompson and Tretter, and also said the city’s municipal utilities team was important in the development.

Thompson said the facility will be built on acreage recently annexed into the city on Nims Road, which also has frontage on Route 25.

During a special meeting on Dec. 8, council approved the annexation of the 131.09 acres, and approved interim zoning for the property of M-2 General Industrial. The petitioner was Maurer Family Farms LLC.

Thompson said Bowling Green was attractive to Abbott based on several factors, including land that met the company’s criteria, the city’s utility capabilities, proximity to Abbott’s suppliers and transportation infrastructure.

Additionally, she noted the city’s strong relationships with the Regional Growth Partnership, Jobs Ohio, and other state and local entities which make the community conducive to business.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt.-Gov. Jon Husted, and JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef made the Abbott announcement Thursday morning.

“Abbott’s history in formula production goes all the way back to Columbus in the early 1900s, and we’re glad Abbott is advancing its future here in Ohio as they bring a cutting-edge facility to Bowling Green that will support job growth and improve the supply chain for critical formula products nationwide,” DeWine said. “The addition of this new facility will help to ensure that life-sustaining formulas are available and accessible when needed.”

Abbott is a multinational healthcare company whose technologies and products span diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. This project will expand the U.S. supply of essential formulas, some of which serve as the sole source of nutrition for people with extreme allergies to most food products and other dietary and metabolic conditions.

“Abbott’s decision to expand its footprint in Ohio reinforces this state’s ongoing development of products that can boost and sustain the health and safety of Americans,” Husted said. “Abbott had many other states courting them for this investment, and it’s rewarding to see them choose Ohio as the best place to do business.”

In designing and building the plant, Abbott intends to engage with experts across food safety, quality and good manufacturing practices.

“We’re building this plant for additional capacity to produce these important specialty and metabolic formulas that families rely on,” said Robert Ford, chairman and chief executive officer of Abbott. “Abbott has long been part of Ohio, and we’re proud to become part of the local community in Bowling Green.”