Seven shovels were thrust into the dirt, and by the count of three in Japanese, OSR Inc., a local manufacturer of automobile fasteners, had kicked off construction of a new $6.5 million facility in Columbus.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility, which featured OSR President Makoto Inagaki, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop as well as several dozen local, state and international business leaders, was spurred by continual growth, company officials said.
"It is a sincere privilege to be here today to celebrate what we are doing together as a company and as a community,” said Koji Hyodo, chief executive officer and president of Japan-based Owari Precise Products, OSR’s parent company.
The new 82,395-square-foot facility, located off South International Drive in the Woodside Northwest Industrial Park, is expected to be an economic boost for Columbus manufacturing, helping the company retain 29 employees and add 12 more by next year with a projected average wage of $20.17 per hour, company officials said.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery
Additionally, the company plans to install new manufacturing, quality and logistics equipment as part of the project.
Dunlap and Co. Inc., a Columbus construction contractor, has been selected to build the facility.
Lienhoop said the new facility speaks to the city’s efforts to expand manufacturing and further develop business ties with Japan.
"OSR has been in Columbus for over a decade, and when they decided to move out of (their current facility), they looked around at different locations, and we’re so happy that they chose to stay in Columbus," he said. "I think this is a great vote of confidence for the local business climate. Hopefully, they continue to grow here.”
The company had considered relocating to other cities in Indiana, including Franklin and Seymour, said Kenny Canfield, OSR’s vice president of sales and marketing.
"Most of our employees are from Columbus, and we have been able to retain them," he said. "Our average tenure is about six to seven years. We have a great staff, so we didn’t want to move far because we wanted to keep who we have and continue to grow here."
In January, the Columbus City Council unanimously approved a tax abatement for the OSR project. The abatement is projected to save the company an estimated $607,000 over the next decade for its $4.8 million real property investment and $91,941 over the same time period for its $1.7 million personal property investment, according to city projections. City officials said the project is located in a recognized economic revitalization area.
The company bought a 10-acre parcel of land at 6893 S. International Drive from Prelude Investments in January for $627,000, said Robin Hilber, city community development programs coordinator. The city had been collecting $312 in taxes on the vacant lot, she said.
Founded in 2002, OSR is a manufacturer of automobile fasteners, primarily for Toyota, according to its website. The new facility will be the company’s first standalone facility in the U.S. The company had been leasing part of Rightway Fasteners Inc.’s building in the industrial park.
Canfield said the company plans to leave its current leased location once the new facility is completed, which is set for October.
OSR’s fasteners are shipped to all of Toyota’s plants in Canada and the United States, including facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas, Canfield said. The fasteners are used in the production of several Toyota vehicles, namely the Tundra, Highlander and Camry, among others.
Currently, OSR employs 30 people in Columbus at its location at 7715 S. International Drive, the company said.
“We are very thankful for the support of the community,” Hyodo said. “We like it here in Columbus.”
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”About the company” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
OSR Inc. was founded as a joint venture by Rightway Fasteners Inc. and parent company Owari Precise Products Co. Ltd.
OSR manufactures automobile fasteners, primarily for Toyota, according to its website. Its fasteners are shipped to all of Toyota’s plants in Canada and the United States, including facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas, said Kenny Canfield, OSR’s vice president of sales and marketing.
The fasteners are used in the production of several Toyota vehicles, namely the Tundra, Highlander, Camry, among others.
OSR employs 30 people in Columbus at its location at 7715 S. International Drive.
[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Japanese investment in Indiana” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
Indiana is home to more than 290 Japanese business facilities, including original equipment manufacturers such as Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana and Honda Motor North America, as well as automotive suppliers like OSR. Together, these companies support 65,000 Hoosier jobs, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp.