MORE: Topre plant in Springfield to bring new life, jobs to historic site
Topre’s plant will go on a roughly 30-acre industrial site that once housed an International Harvester/Navistar factory until it closed in 2002.
The Champion City Business Park was completed in 2013 after a decade of cleaning up industrial contaminants and improving infrastructure. That work was a key element of Topre’s decision to select Springfield over competitors across Ohio and in other states, community leaders have said.
The Japanese manufacturer’s decision to build a manufacturing site in Springfield could eventually lead to more interest from other international firms, Hobbs said.
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He also noted an increase in foreign companies looking at the Springfield area over the past four to five months, particularly from Brazil. Officials from Topre have discussed their experiences developing a manufacturing site here with at least one other firm that has expressed interest in Springfield, Hobbs said.
Local officials from both the CIC and Clark County also recently attended a retail convention in Las Vegas, part of ongoing attempts to bring more retail opportunities for the region. Local leaders continue to work with Buxton Co., a Texas-based consulting firm to identify and attract retailers.
While there were some positive meetings, Hobbs said it will continue to be a challenge to attract retail, particularly as the industry sees significant change including increased online shopping from consumers.
“My takeaway of the show was things were just different,” he said compared to previous years. “Many of the big-name retailers were either not there or they were subdued.”