Springfield Welcomes Topre America
By Horton Hobbs, Vice President, Economic Development
In June of 2016, the Community Improvement Corporation began conversations with Topre America Corporation, a Japanese auto parts manufacturing firm with locations in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee about their interest in locating an assembly plant in Ohio. Specifically, they expressed interest in assembling parts currently made at their Cullman, Alabama facility in support of Honda in East Liberty, Ohio. In December, after many meetings and visits from company officials, Topre announced its intentions to lease 5 acres and construct a 20,000-square foot building at the Champion City Business Park. Once home to International Harvester’s Truck and Engine Plant, this site has been vacant since 2002. Because of the bedrock under this site, we suggested Topre should locate their assembly operations there with the hope that as they gained new business they would bring a metal stamping facility to this location.
Just three months later, in March of this year, Topre announced it would expand its operations in Springfield immediately, and would purchase the entire 30-acre Champion City Business Park and construct a 146,000-square foot metal stamping and assembly facility in support of their customers at Honda and Toyota. This announcement will result in approximately $55 million of new investment at the location, as well as 85 new jobs with an average pay of $19.50 per hour.
“This investment in Springfield expands our plans that were announced for Springfield in December. As hoped, our plans to expand to Springfield have resulted in increased production requests from our customers,” said Brad Pepper, Vice President of Topre America. “The Springfield community is the perfect strategic location for us to locate and expand our operations. It’s simply a community that wanted our investment and worked with our leadership to make it happen,” he added.
This project provides an opportunity to bring life back to a heritage manufacturing site that has had a direct impact on thousands of families in our community. It is a terrific investment in that portion of Springfield, and will serve as a catalyst to other development in that area, and throughout the community. Construction will begin in May 2017 with the first phase to be operational by September 2017. The remainder of the project is scheduled to be completed by July 2018.