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  Public Information Release
This is joint news release from Southgate Corportion and the Port Authority.


February 9, 2007

Southgate, Port Authority Attract Samuel Manu-Tech Investment and Jobs to Heath

HEATH, OHIO – Officials with Samuel Manu-Tech began discussions with Southgate Corporation about their future expansion needs and the need for a new manufacturing and distribution facility. The Canadian-headquartered firm began searching for a new site for its expanding steel production operation. It was this search that would see a first-ever collaboration between Southgate Corporation and the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority and, ultimately, bring Heath its first major, new manufacturing plant in over a generation.

Samuel officials had been talking with Southgate for several years about a possible expansion. Samuel was initially interested in a Southgate Spec building however as more planning occurred the project grew larger then the available spec building and a new criterion for the plant also became very important. It was imperative for the new plant to have rail service.

Meanwhile, the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority was underway with construction of Kaiser Drive, a new roadway serving industrially-zoned land it owned in Heath. The site also had the key ingredient for Samuel and Southgate’s search—rail service.

A collaborative effort was born.

Southgate guided Samuel Manu-Tech through design of a new building to accommodate its production and workforce expansion needs as well as the search for a ready-to-build 15-20 acre industrial site with proximity to the existing Columbus plant’s workforce, a business-friendly local community, cost-competitive land prices, strong financial incentives, and, most critically, rail service.

Southgate brought the Port Authority into the project mid Summer 2005. That proved to be only the start, though, of a highly-competitive multi-state, multi-county, and multi-developer site selection process that involved dozens of sites and existing buildings. A Southgate-Port Authority partnership on a 16-acre site emerged from the nearly year-long process as the chosen location.

“Without the cooperation we experienced from Southgate Corporation and the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, we would not have seen our expansion occur in Heath, much less Ohio,” said Samuel’s Jim Waterman.

Ground was broken in April 2006 for Samuel’s new 151,000 s.f. facility. Southgate has served as the build-to-suit developer for the building which is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy the first quarter of this year.

“We are very happy this project ended up going into the Port Authority’s development in Heath. It took a tremendous effort to bring this project to Licking County.” said Southgate President Robert O’Neill. “At a time when the overall manufacturing job base in Ohio is declining due to companies leaving the state for perceived and also real advantages in other locales, it’s good to bring new manufacturing jobs and investment to the area.”

The Port Authority sold the land to Samuel and fulfilled its promised infrastructure extensions on time in August 2006. Numerous public and private entities have played a role in helping to attract the jobs and capital investment that Samuel expects at its new Heath plant.

“No one could have written a better scenario than to see the first new project in 54 years on the Port Authority’s property be a global manufacturer brought to our site by the area’s premier industrial developer, Southgate,” added Rick Platt, Port Authority Executive Director. “Together, we survived an exhaustive site search that validates the Port Authority’s niche offering of rail-served industrial sites. All of Licking County benefits when the public and private sectors work together like Southgate and the Port Authority did to attract Samuel Manu-Tech.”

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