Grove City goes high-tech

By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

The city of Grove City is making a name for itself in the high-tech business world.

At the July 21 meeting, Grove City Council approved a $50,000, multi-year agreement with TechColumbus, to attract technology related businesses to the city. This action happened just as existing technology companies are investing millions in the area.

According to Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage, city leaders want to create a successful business environment within the city. The city wants to retain, expand and attract high-tech businesses.

The not-for-profit TechColumbus would help the city reach that goal.

Tom Walker, president of TechColumbus said the company will assist the city to accelerate the development of start-up companies by providing business owners with resources and services to succeed.

According to city documents, TechColumbus is the lead agency to fast track business growth and job creation for the central Ohio region. It is the agency responsible for the start of TechSmart, a local matching grant funding program.

The city will use the $50,000 to support the regional effort to create new companies, technologies and jobs through 2015.

“Our objective is selfish,” said Stage. “We want to be first in the area to create a successful business incubator environment.”

Meanwhile four existing companies are investing in the city and expanding operations.

Merrill Corporation, a global provider of technology services for corporate markets, recently announced an $800,000 capital investment in its Grove City facility.

Pier 1 Imports plans to expand its current distribution center by about 200,000 square feet and develop the company’s second e-commerce center in the United States. The investment in the city is over $5 million. With the expansion, the company plans to add 165 new jobs.

According to a city press release, TOSOH SMD, Inc. is in the midst of the biggest expansion since it relocated to Gantz Road in 1993. The company makes materials found inside many consumer products including mobile phones, personal computers, tablets and TVs.

The expansion adds 67,000 square feet to the current 210,000-square-foot facility.

Martin Blazic, president of TOSOH SMD, Inc., said “The expansion is going to include a huge technology boost for next-generation materials. The investment will incorporate advanced equipment for testing and development, as well as new tools and processes that will allow us to better collaborate with our customers on leading-edge chip manufacturing processes.”

Team Gemini LLC is finalizing plans on an estimated $350 million, green-energy center through an agreement with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

The center is expected to generate enough energy to operate the entire plant and more than 30,000 homes. The company plans to bring on about 500 employees when its fully operational.

“The city benefits from well-planned infrastructure including access to multi fiber optic networks providing our businesses with superb, high-speed data connectivity,” said Stage.
“We couple these advantages with a long history of operating with a commitment to a business-friendly culture.

“Grove City started as a farming community and today we grow business.”

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