WEST CHESTER TWP
Sixty international businesses representing 13 countries operate in West Chester, success that business and government leaders attribute in part to the township’s location, taxes and access to qualified workers.
Foreign investment companies are looking for the same things any company in the region look for, access to a talented workforce, said Aaron Wiegand, West Chester’s community development director.
”Our advantage is because of our accessibility, employers are able to reach a very wide circle of potential employees … because of the interstate access,” Wiegand said. “We can pull from Dayton, Northern Kentucky, all of the Cincinnati metropolitan area, whereas other places might not have quite that benefit because of their location.”
West Chester-based Anest Iwata USA recently relocated its North American headquarters to a 23,664-square-foot facility it purchased at 10148 Commerce Park Drive.
Anest Iwata opted to stay in West Chester rather than move to another area suburb for a number of reasons, according to Nicolle Williams, Anest Iwata USA’s marketing manager.
”There’s a lot of manufacturing around our new facility,” she said. “A lot of those companies are our customers, so it just made sense to stay close to some good customers of ours who are used to us being here.”
Anest Iwata USA isn’t the only international business expanding to or within West Chester Twp. this year.
Japanese company Kosei North America — which focuses on the production and sale of aluminum wheels, automotive parts, assorted machines and machine parts — is relocating its North American headquarters from Mason to a 45,951-square-foot facility at 7401 Union Centre Blvd. in the new Becknell Industrial building at Port Union and Union Centre Boulevard.
The company’s customers include Honda and Toyota motors.
German-based DMG Mori USA relocated to a 14,660-square-foot office and showroom facility at 9415 Meridian Way in World Park at Union Centre.
The company specializes in high-tech CNC machines such as lathes, milling machines and advanced technologies such as Ultrasonic and Lasertec as well as software solutions and systems.
Companies choosing to locate and grow in West Chester Twp. have easy access to an educated workforce and higher education partners such as Miami University, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Dayton and Wright State University.
Anest Iwata USA’s decision to not be located in a big city means not having to worry about issues companies often face there, including stifling traffic and a lack of parking options, Williams said.
That’s good because “employees think in terms of morning commute times,” Wiegand said.
“Because of us having our interstate access points the way that we do, people are able to drive very easily and get to West Chester, which gives employers a much larger pool of employees,” he said.
From Anest Iwata’s perspective, moving into a city would mean employees being faced with an employment tax, something that’s non-existent in West Chester.
“Everyone would have taken a pay cut or the company would have financially taken a hit to make up for that difference, and that made a really strong case for staying where we are,” she said.
The North American subsidiary of a Japanese company that produces parts for air compressors and spray paint coating equipment has been headquartered in West Chester since 2006, previously sharing a space on Muhlhauser Road with a sister company, according to Williams.
“When we moved into that facility, we actually moved from a facility on Windisch (Road), because we outgrew that,” she said. “The Muhlhauser facility was great, but both companies in the last 12 to 24 months experienced such growth that we were tripping over each other.
“There was just no room for either one of us to do what we needed to do anymore.”
The company purchased its new location in August for a little more than $1.1 million, according to the Butler County Auditor’s Office.
Anest Iwata USA, Kosei North America and DMG Mori are three of the 60 international companies operating in West Chester, according to township officials. The companies represent 13 different countries, including Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Japan and Germany are the most widely represented, making up about 52 percent of the area’s international businesses.
Anest Iwata has numerous visitors arriving from Japan and the company’s offices worldwide, so it helps to be in an area that is easily accessed from both the Interstate 75 corridor and Interstate 275 with plenty to do nearby, Williams said.
“Where we’re positioned, there’s Tri-County Mall, Streets of West Chester, nice new hotels,” she said. “It’s just ideal for someone who may be experiencing the United States for the first time. It’s not overwhelming.
“We’ve got a good mix of industrial and retail so that our visitors aren’t just stuck in the middle of nowhere.”
BY THE NUMBERS
60: number of international companies operating in West Chester
13: number of different countries represented by those companies, including Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
52: percentage of the township’s international businesses that are from Japan and Germany
Source: West Chester Twp.