BOONE COUNTY, KY-The US Playing Card Co., the maker of the popular Bicycle and Hoyle brand, is going to spend $30 million to lease and renovate most of the former Gap warehouse, a 750,000-sf building here in the Airport Distribution Center park. The company, a subsidiary of brand giant Jarden Corp., is moving from its larger, castle-like headquarters that it’s held for more than 100 years about 25 miles away in Norwood, OH.

Since 1885, the Bicycle brand has been manufactured by the United States Printing Company, which, in 1894, became the United States Playing Card Company of Cincinnati. The company has been in its 600,000-sf facility since moving to Norwood from Downtown Cincinnati in 1900. Phil Dolci, president of the company, said in a statement recently that it’s time to upgrade its headquarters. “To continue to compete in the global marketplace over the next 100 years, it was obvious we needed to modernize our equipment and facilities.” The firm spent 2007 looking at property in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky until deciding on this property. State and local officials have offered the company more than $6 million in tax incentives and benefits.

The building is partially occupied already. After the Gap moved out in March 2003, Alstom Power leased 118,000 sf in the building. The USPC will lease the rest of the facility. It’s not clear what entity owns the 40-acre property. A company spokesman would not talk about what will be done with the former Norwood headquarters.

Work to the new building will include a complete refurbishment of the building. Also moving in with the USPC will be the headquarters for Loew-Cornell, an art and craft supply company that’s also a subsidiary of Jarden. This company is moving its operations from Jarden’s home offices in Englewood, NJ.

Gary Moore, judge executive with Boone County, tells that the new firm will bring 500 new jobs to the area, southwest of Cincinnati. He says the area could really use the help. “Well, our major industry is the Cincinnati International Airport, and now we have the uncertainty of Comair Airlines, a subsidiary of Delta,” he says. Comair reportedly announced this week that it will cut 520 jobs from its 6,300-worker company.

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