- Published: 27 July 2016 27 July 2016
Fuyao Glass America Inc. is leasing out even more space in Moraine as it now thinks its employment could surge to 2,500, up about 1,000 from the current level.
The manufacturer has signed a 15-year lease on another 241,000 square feet of space at the former GM plant in Moraine, in the building at the northeast corner of Stroop Road and North Springboro Pike, said Dave Burrows, vice president of operations for the company.
The new space, immediately south of Fuyao's main building, will be where the auto glass production facility moves its logistics and warehousing operations. Today about 20 trucks a day move glass out of the plant but that number will grow to 150 by 2018, Burrows said.
"This extra space is going to ease up the pressure a bit," Burrows said. "It will allow us to do things better and more efficiently in the main plant."
With this space, Fuyao now has just shy of 2.1 million square feet of total space in the former GM facility, where it's investing $450 million, the capstone of a $700 million investment in a new North American auto glass operation by China-based Fuyao Group touted to be the largest in the world.
This summer, the company has surged to more than 1,500 employees and expects to be up to 2,000 by the end of the year. It now projects it will grow as high as 2,500 employees in the Dayton area in the next five to 10 years, Burrows said.
This new space won't lead directly to additional hiring beyond the company's expectations, but will mean an undetermined additional capital investment. It is working with the new building's owner, Industrial Realty Group, to evaluate what kinds of renovations are needed there now, but the plan is to see the building ready to go in 90 days.
"We've got the 24 production lines plus assembly space in our main building now, and now we'll have a bit more breathing room there," Burrows said.
The new space will be occupied in three phases. The additional capacity will help Fuyao better manage its inventory and fulfill customer orders more efficiently, said John Gauthier, president of Fuyao Glass America, in a statement.
“Logistically Fuyao is perfectly positioned," said Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition. "This project showcases how well this region is positioned."
It's another mark of good news for the 400-acre complex, where IRG now says it has sold or leased 167 acres of land. The company is planning to make and ship enough auto glass for 4 million cars a year — a fourth of the number produced in North America.
“This is just another example of Fuyao’s commitment to Moraine,” said Mike Davis, economic development director for Moraine, in a statement. “We continue to work closely with Fuyao on this major project in our city. We have been with them since the beginning and will continue to support them.”
The company's massive presence has already had a ripple effect, from a new restaurant built to accommodate its employees as well as the larger public, to additional Chinese-owned suppliers considering setting up a local presence. Negotiations on those are still ongoing.
The former GM and Delphi complex landed a big win earlier this year with defense contractor US Aeroteam looking to move in. Davis said the contractor will take up about 70,000 square feet of space in the building.
"There's a couple of things going on in there," Davis said.
Fuyao is also parting ways with one of its first faces in the Dayton region. Rebecca Ruan-O'Shaughnessy, the company's first employee, is leaving her role as director of legal affairs in order to spend more time with family and transition back into economic development.
"We at Fuyao want to wish her good luck and appreciate everything she has done," Burrows said.