The first company to occupy the city’s newest industrial park opened its headquarters on Friday.
“It’s been a two-year process, and we’re really excited to be here,” Todd Irion, president of Engineered Materials Systems, told The Gazette.
EMS, a global manufacturer of adhesives, conductives and inks for multiple markets, had a ribbon cutting at its new 64,000 square-foot building at 100 Innovation Court, next door to North American Bus Industries.
The $4.5 million building allowed the company to consolidate its three Delaware locations at 101 Johnson Drive, 132 Johnson Drive and 600 London Road under one roof. It also kept the company in Delaware, where it has been since 1998, retaining 38 jobs and eventually adding eight new positions.
“From the city’s perspective, we love to see businesses grow and succeed, and we’re here to help you do that,” said Vice Mayor Kent Shafer. “We know it’s the beginning of a lot of good things in this area.”
Shafer also read a certificate congratulating EMS from Gov. John Kasich.
“I’m in my 17th year with the city, and this is one of the more exciting projects (I’ve been part of),” said City Manager Tom Homan. “It’s the anchor for Sawmill Parkway, a project that took a lot of sweat and tears, but it’s underway.”
The Sawmill Parkway extension to U.S. 42 and Innovation Court is expected to open in October, and may eventually connect to Section Line Road.
“This becomes a cornerstone for this part of our economic base,” Homan said, thanking Delaware City Schools for their help with the incentive package to keep EMS in town.
Irion thanked city staff for helping to annex the land into the city and rezone it for business use. He was glad to be the first business on Innovation Court, an 800-foot long cul-de-sac in the new Innovation Park.
“The advantage of Innovation Court is we have 30 acres over there that will be accessible once Sawmill Parkway is in, to other businesses,” Irion said. “Hopefully, there’s another five businesses over there which will bring jobs and more economic success to the city.”
He said one of the three buildings EMS formerly occupied is for sale, and another one may be leased.
“Us moving here is allowing other companies to come in and create jobs,” Irion said. “From my standpoint, we’re never moving again. We may add on (to the 17-acre property), but we’re never changing our address.”
Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce President Holly Quaine said the new EMS building is “a perfect example of everybody doing what they’re supposed to do. … I know this was not an easy process, and we’re delighted you were able to stay here.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.