Auburn-based Hana Factory Automation intends to relocate to Opelika’s Fox Run Business Park, bringing with it an initial 40 jobs and a $4.07 million capital investment.
Auburn Economic Development Director Phillip Dunlap said Hana is a service-based company that works with other Korean companies in the area. The city of Auburn helped facilitate the company’s initial location in the area in a business incubation unit at the Auburn Center for Developing Industries. Business incubators are facilities where up-and-coming, entrepreneurial businesses can have space and resources for future growth.
“They’ve been in an incubator the whole time, and we told them they would have to relocate from our incubator,” Dunlap said. “So, basically, they haven’t made a tremendous amount of capital investment” in Auburn.
Opelika Economic Development Director Lori Huguley said the company plans to relocate to the former Prolific Plastics building in the Fox Run Business Park.
The Opelika City Council approved tax abatements for the company and its president, Soon Hae Ahn. Two abatements were available because Ahn has said he will purchase the building in his own name and lease it to the company, according to the council resolution.
Huguley said Opelika did not actively recruit Hana Factory Automation to the city, citing an agreement with the city of Auburn to not lure each other’s companies.
While initially employing 40 people, the company could eventually expand to 55 employees over the initial three-year period, according to the council resolution. Hana also intends to make additions to the facility and add new manufacturing equipment. The facility’s estimated completion date is Aug. 31, 2012.