A Portland, Oregon, shoe company is making the hike to Bullitt County.

Keen Footwear is opening a new distribution center on East Blue Lick Road inside the former Hillsdale Furniture building, next to the Gilt warehouse and I-65. It’s a prime location, because it’s close to the airport and UPS, Hillview Mayor Jim Eadens said.

“If we had a way to make more land, we could just fill it up,” he said.

Keen Footwear makes clothing, shoes and other outdoor adventure gear. It will bring nearly 90 jobs to the distribution center with wages around $27 an hour with benefits, Eadens said.

“I know a lot of people are screaming ‘We need jobs!’ Bullitt County is screaming, ‘We need workers!'"

The Hillview City Council approved a 1 percent tax credit for the company toward the city's 1.8 percent occupational tax. The employees will still pay the full tax. However, 1 percent will go back to the company for the first 10 years. The state also offered a hefty tax incentive for Keen to locate here.

“We're just excited to see the growth,” Eadens said.

Two other big buildings are under construction just behind the Keen warehouse, although the city wouldn’t reveal what they'll become.

“It makes us feel wonderful,” Eadens said.

Operations will start in the new Keen distribution center sometime after the first of the year.

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