Latest Toyota expansion is good for city

An important first step in economic development is when a company decides to set up shop in a city. A second significant step is when that same company reinvests in that community.

A $17.5 million expansion by one of Columbus’ anchor companies supports that concept.

Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, one of five company brands of Toyota Industries Corp. operating in Columbus, is adding 150,000 square feet of space under roof of the primary building on Toyota’s 126-acre campus.

The company said the expansion will allow for improved efficiency by shifting some operations to different spaces, and help its internal and external logistics.

Toyota Industries Corp. employs about 1,400 workers on its Columbus campus, making it the fourth-largest local manufacturer and sixth-largest employer.

Toyota, which celebrated its 25th year in the city last year, demonstrated its continued commitment to Columbus with its latest reinvestment.

That also signals confidence in the manufacturing industry, the region’s primary economic driver.

The latest expansion is the third significant local economic development by Toyota in the past six months. Toyota Material Handling USA announced in November 2016 that it would add 71 jobs by 2019, and the 35,000-square-foot T+Rex Recreational Complex opened in January.

That’s a track record that is beneficial for both the company and the city, because it confirms that Columbus is a good place to do business.