The city of Springfield has sold some land in its Champion City Business Park, a step toward allowing a Honda supplier to open a new manufacturing plant at the site.
Two other business parks in Clark County also have received a state designation that local leaders said could help draw new companies to the region.
Springfield city commissioners also approved this week selling five acres in the Champion City Business Park for a minimal fee to the Community Improvement Corp., the economic development arm of the Chamber of Greater Springfield.
Topre America, a Japan-based auto parts maker, will be the first company to move into the 30-acre business park at Lagonda and Belmont avenues that once was home to a large Navistar factory. Construction is expected to begin this year, said Horton Hobbs, vice president for economic development for the Chamber of Greater Springfield.
Topre announced a plan late last year to open a new plant in the Champion City Business Park, where the firm will manufacture high-strength steel parts for the Acura MDX. To make the deal work, Hobbs said local investors will build a 20,000-square-foot facility at the business park to lease to the company for three years.
In return, Topre has pledged to invest $10 million and bring at least 20 new jobs initially. Company officials have said they hope to pick up additional work from Honda and could expand.
Honda is one of the largest employers in the region, with 1,400 workers in Clark and Champaign counties, along with many more working at local suppliers like KTH and Yamada. Both KTH and Yamada have expanded in recent years.
Two other Clark County industrial parks have received a state designation that could push Clark County to the top of the list for employers looking for available space for new facilities.
The Prime Ohio II business park along Interstate 70 and the NextEdge Applied Research and Technology Park on East National Road in Springfield have received SiteOhio certification, Hobbs said.
The sites are among the first in the state to receive the designation, which will signal to developers that both business parks are immediately ready for development, Hobbs said. The new program is designed to increase the number of development-ready sites across the state and market the sites to potential businesses, said Matt Englehart, a spokesman for JobsOhio.
DETAILS: Honda makes big bet on fuel cells
“Each site has undergone a usability audit to ensure the site is intuitively positioned for optimal access,” Englehart said. “When a site is verified with the SiteOhio seal, it is guaranteed to be ready for development day one, allowing businesses to hit the ground running and get to market faster.”
The designation certifies that the sites have infrastructure and utilities in place and ensures potential investors that the sites meet Ohio’s site selection standards.
Love’s Travel Stop opened a new, $7.5 million travel stop at the Prime Ohio II park earlier this month, bringing 50 new jobs. It’s the first development in the new Prime Ohio II park.
5 QUICK BUSINESS READS