Japan manufacturer coming to city

The city has attracted another Japan-based company that plans to locate its first and only U.S. production site in Columbus.

Daiei Giken Kogyo Co. Ltd. is establishing Daiei Inc. as a wholly owned subsidiary to locate an office headquarters and a manufacturing building at the corner of Commerce Drive and Depot Street on the northwest side of Columbus.

The company plans to invest $3 million in new manufacturing equipment to be installed in leased property at 810 Depot St., with an additional $300,000 in new manufacturing equipment to be installed there, said James Kaparakis, production department director for the company.

Daiei will locate its U.S. headquarters at a nearby building at 3620 Commerce Drive, with some additional building improvements there, Kaparakis said.

The company plans to hire five employees initially, and five more by the end of 2017, Kaparakis said.

Daiei is a specialty producer of industrial components made of sheet steel that it supplies to Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, which also has its North American headquarters and production operations in Columbus.

Mayor-elect Jim Lienhoop and Columbus Economic Development Board executive director Jason Hester met with officials from Daiei Giken on a trip to Japan as part of a state of Indiana delegation to the country in September. During the trip, the two met with many of Columbus’ 25 Japan-based companies, Hester said.

Daiei Inc. is asking the Columbus City Council to designate the Depot Street manufacturing building and Commerce Drive headquarters as an economic revitalization area in preparation for seeking a 10-year tax abatement for just its $3 million investment in manufacturing equipment. The company is not pursuing an abatement on its planned real estate improvements, the company application said.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Columbus City Hall to consider the request. The council meeting has been moved to Wednesday because Tuesday is the city election.

Daiei has selected Force Construction of Columbus to remodel its future production space on Depot Street and the office space on Commerce Drive, company officials said.

The company hopes to begin installing equipment in the next few weeks, pending approval by the council for the tax abatement, Kaparakis said.

About Daiei, Inc.

What: Daiei Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based Daiei Giken Kogyo Co. Ltd.

Background: The parent company was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Handa City, Aichi prefecture, Japan.

What the company does: Daiei is a specialty producer of industrial components made of sheet steel, serving material handling, automotive, heating, ventilation and air conditioning and other industries.

Global footprint: In addition to its operations in Japan, the company established operations in China in 1995 and will soon open a production facility in Vietnam.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.