Schroer Group is considering the possibility of leaving the Hoover District in North Canton and building a new facility, possibly in Jackson Township. City officials hope to see the businesses stay.

NORTH CANTON  Local officials are concerned one of the city's largest employers is seeking a new home in a neighboring township.

Rumors have persisted for several months the Schroer Group will move its Absolute Health Services and Altercare divisions out of the Hoover District and build a new headquarters in Jackson Township.

Schroer Group declined to comment this week on the rumors. Likewise for officials at IRG and Maple Street Commerce, which owns and manages the Hoover District.

IRG began in 2008 developing the Hoover District, a collection of buildings that once served as headquarters for Hoover Co., and in 2009 persuaded Schroer Group to lease in factory space that was converted for offices. Absolute Health Services and Altercare chose the Hoover District over potential locations in Akron and Fairlawn.

More than 1,000 people work for companies and agencies that lease space in the Hoover District. About 300 of them work for the Schroer Group operations. The additional jobs created at the Hoover District has helped the city recover income tax revenue lost when Hoover Co. left in 2007.

City officials during public meetings this week have alluded to the possibility of losing Schroer Group and its jobs.

Mayor David Held said he hopes to see Schroer keep the Absolute and Altercare jobs in the Hoover District.

"We want to do everything we can to keep them there," Held said.

Since coming to North Canton, Absolute and Altercare have been highly supportive participants in the community, said Doug Lane, president of the North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber and community hope if Schroer decides to build a new headquarters "that it is here in the city and we stand ready to help in that process," Lane wrote in an email.

Held said the goal with IRG and Maple Street Commerce has been to bring the city good jobs and retain those jobs. The development company did well finding tenants to occupy the first phase of the Hoover District project, which entailed filling Hoover's old corporate office building and a newer factory space.

The developer has been challenged, Held said, trying to move ahead with the second phase that involves renovating older factory buildings along N. Main Street. Held said he hopes to see IRG make progress with the second phase, which would benefit the company and the community. "We want IRG to succeed."

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