April 18, 2014
American Electric Power plans to build offices in New Albany for its division that manages the interstate flow of electricity.
The AEP Transmission building will bring together about 500 employees who now work at several central Ohio locations, most of them in Gahanna and some at the Downtown headquarters.
The new building will be in New Albany Business Park, next door to a smaller building already being used by the same AEP division. It will be in the eastern part of the business park, just over the Franklin County line in Licking County.
AEP expects “significant cultural, operational and efficiency benefits” from having all of the employees at the same address, said Lisa Barton, executive vice president of AEP Transmission, in a statement.
The new headquarters will be about two years in the making and will be 195,000 square feet. AEP does not yet know how much the project will cost. AEP’s existing building in the park is 83,500 square feet.
“This is a significant project,” said Scott McAfee, spokesman for the village of New Albany. “ This is a global company, and the jobs could have gone anywhere.”
The business park already has about 12,000 workers at 72 businesses.
AEP looked at several central Ohio locations before choosing New Albany, said company spokeswoman Melissa McHenry.
“They’ve essentially outgrown their space,” she said.
Most of the employees, including Barton, now work at a Gahanna building, at 700 Morrison Rd. The company owns the Gahanna site and has not decided what to do with it when the transmission employees relocate, McHenry said.
AEP Transmission oversees the high-voltage power lines that carry electricity between cities and over state lines. It has grown in recent years as AEP has announced several new projects and joint ventures.
The New Albany City Council approved tax incentives for the project on Tuesday night, including:
• Property-tax incentives worth $7.2 million over 15 years.
• An income-tax credit worth $1.5 million.
• A $250,000 grant to be used to help pay for meeting “green” building standards.
• A $100,000 job-training grant that will be used to start a program involving AEP and the local school district.
With the new building and the roughly 100 workers at the existing one, the business park will have about 600 AEP employees.