The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency has agreed to offer a $3.2 million incentive package to encourage Ace Hardware to expand its regional distribution center on Ballard Road.
The IDA board voted unanimously Monday to approve the package of tax breaks, as Ace considers whether to go forward with a 400,000-square-foot expansion and the addition of 25 to 30 jobs.
“It’s not a done deal that it’s going to be here yet. This will go a long ways,” said Wilton town Supervisor Arthur Johnson.
The company has not yet applied for any town land-use approvals, though Johnson and other town officials have indicated they support the project.
The expansion would bring the distribution center’s total size to 1.2 million square feet.
The company currently employs 292 people at its Wilton site, located about a mile west of Northway Exit 16.
Company officials have said they need to expand their warehousing in the Northeast and are deciding between the Wilton site and locations in other states.
“I would say this [package] puts Wilton at the front position in terms of the other sites we are looking at,” Taylor Oswald, a national development consultant working with the company, said at a meeting with the IDA board in May.
Ace Hardware opened its Wilton distribution center in 1997, a project that also received tax incentives from the county IDA. Those incentives expired after 10 years and the warehouse now pays full property taxes.
The Ace warehouse was the first large distribution center to open at Exit 16, though Target Corp. later built its 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center just down the road.
The potential Ace addition would cost about $18 million to build and another $8 million would be spent on equipment inside the addition, according to the IDA application.
Under the incentive package offered by the IDA, the addition would be exempt from all property taxes for the first five years, then in the sixth year would be taxed at 50 percent of its value.
The exemption would be reduced every subsequent year until full taxes are being paid in the tenth year. The existing warehouse would continue to be taxed as it is now.
The total property tax break over a 10-year period is estimated at $2.1 million. The company also seeks a sales tax exemption on construction materials worth an estimated $1.2 million.
Frank Nesbitt, retail support manager with Ace Hardware, said the Wilton distribution center serves more than 500 stores in nine states, from Pennsylvania to New England, and the company needs additional warehouse space to keep up with demand.
On Monday, semi-trailers were parked along the entrance drive to the distribution center as well as around the warehouse loading docks. Big rigs were coming and going every few minutes.
The addition would be built to the east of the existing warehouse and the buildings would be connected, company officials said.