Ohio Corporate Moves

Cleveland’s Teamwork Wins Over ViewRay

In February, ViewRay Incorporated, a medical device manufacturer, announced that it will move its headquarters from Gainesville, FL to Cleveland, OH. The company will hire 25 professionals within the first year and will fill more than 90 positions within three years.

According to ViewRay CEO William Wells, the company chose the Cleveland region after considering several bioscience hotbeds including Boston, MA; the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina; Atlanta, GA; and the Bay Area in Northern California. The company stated a key factor that led to its decision was the state of Ohio’s commitment to and infrastructure for supporting bioscience companies.

Wells was also impressed with the team approach in both Cleveland and Ohio. “Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher was instrumental in our decision making process,” Wells says. “The state’s commitment to the bioscience industry is encouraging and leads me to believe that our company will prosper here.” Wells also notes the unique opportunity to work with established engineering teams in medical imaging, world-class health institutions like the Cleveland Clinic, and the region’s cluster of start-up businesses as additional reasons for selecting the city.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Monday approved job creation tax credits for ViewRay estimated at $537,431 over 10 years to help the company move and equip its facility.

“Ohio is making incredible strides in the biosciences, attracting companies like ViewRay that are pioneers in ground breaking products that will save lives and transform the industry,” says Fisher, who also serves as the director of the Ohio Department of Development. “This collaborative effort between Cuyahoga County, TeamNEO, BioOhio, BioEnterprise, and a number of our other partners highlights the region’s continuing commitment to growing this sector.”

“As a team, they were comprehensively better than anyone that we talked to in the other states,” says Wells.

According to ViewRay, which acquired $25 million from venture capitalists in January, its investors originally advised the company to move from Florida and to consider Cleveland for its headquarters.

That Other Penn Station Chooses That Other Miami

In March, Ohio-based restaurant chain, Penn Station, announced that it will begin building its new headquarters in Miami Township, OH this spring. The $1.5 million, 10,000-square-foot facility will be used by 14 current employees, including the company’s management team, and will provide enough space to hire an additional four employees in the future.

The new facility will be located on 10 acres along US Highway 50. The company is considering creating a training restaurant on the property where it can train franchisees in all aspects of restaurant management. Penn Station currently has 182 franchise units across 12 states.

Penn Station was founded in downtown Cincinnati, OH in 1985 and has become well known throughout the Midwest and Southeast United States for its grilled cheese steaks. The company recently inked a deal with the Cincinnati Reds professional baseball team to operate two concession kiosks within its ballpark beginning in May.

Mansfield Answers StarTek’s Call

In January, Colorado-based company StarTek announced that it will build a new call center in Mansfield, OH, creating between 500 and 600 full-time jobs. The new employees will handle customer service for the wireless communications business. Jobs at the call center will have starting hourly wages of $8.50 to $9.50, with the possibility of increasing to $12.50, in addition to weekly performance bonuses and full benefits. Local officials estimate the total payroll will reach $12 million, with an average employee salary of $24,000.

Mansfield’s Economic Development Director Tim Bowersock says he can’t remember the last time an out-of-town company created that many new jobs in Mansfield at once.

StarTek had outsourced some of these jobs overseas, but decided to bring them back to the United States this year. “This is one of three or four new centers they’re establishing this year,” Bowersock says.

The company will receive a 10-year, 100% property tax abatement on its $5 million expansion of a former grocery store. The 31,000-square-foot building will be renovated and will include a 20,000-square-foot addition. In exchange for the property tax break, StarTek will provide the Mansfield school district $43,529 in compensation per year.

“The community of Mansfield was chosen because of its exceptionally strong labor pool,” says Larry Jones, StarTek’s president and CEO. The area’s low cost of living was also a determining factor.

Iwata Bolts to Ohio from California

Iwata Bolt USA (IBUSA), the American branch of a Japanese bolts and fasteners manufacturer, plans to complete its new U.S. headquarters in Fairfield, OH this summer. The headquarters will include a 115,000-square-foot office and manufacturing plant on a 17-acre site on Union Centre Boulevard (pictured below). Construction began in October and has an accelerated timeline for completion since the new facility already has orders from its Japanese clients, which include Honda and Nissan.

IBUSA currently has facilities in Garden Grove, CA and Vandalia, OH, but plans to consolidate its operations by closing those offices and moving them to Fairfield. This transfer is expected to bring 50 jobs to Fairfield over the next three years. “Most of the products come to this area,” says Akira Kayama, executive vice president of IBUSA. “That’s why we decided to move the factory from California.” IBUSA manufactures metal bolts and fasteners and its major customers are automotive manufacturing plants in Indiana, Kentucky, and Georgia.

In exchange for its $10.5 million investment, IBUSA will receive a 50% property tax abatement over seven years from the Fairfield City Council. During this time, the company has agreed to pay the Fairfield City School District $9,105 per year.