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Toyota builds new offices

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Toyota Material Handling USA took the next step in moving its corporate headquarters to Columbus from the West Coast when the forklift maker started building a 21,400-square-foot office expansion as part of its manufacturing campus this week.

The project represents “a multimillion dollar investment” designed to bring manufacturing, marketing and sales teams all into one location, the company said.

The plant at 5555 Inwood Drive — about six miles south of downtown Columbus — opened in 1990 and has gone through at least a dozen expansions since then. Once the latest project wraps up next year, the entire 126-acre complex will include nearly 1 million square feet.

In 2005, the company added a National Customer Center that includes a demonstration room, retractable bleachers and a conference room with stadium-style seating. The site also houses distribution centers to move equipment and parts to customers.

Toyota Material Handling USA’s headquarters will move here from Irvine, Calif.

The new office space includes an area for conferences and meetings. It is designed to accommodate at least 170 employees, the company said. Toyota held a groundbreaking event Tuesday.

Existing office space here is physically connected to the Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing space, where the company builds three- and four-wheel forklifts among other equipment. The local plant manufactures more than 30,000 forklifts a year and employs 724 people, Toyota said earlier this fall.

Toyota projects total employment of about 1,000 people on its entire campus once the headquarters switch takes place.

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