West Chester World: The township's international presence grows with a new facility for Anest Iwata

Japanese manufacturer outgrows old building

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- West Chester-based Anest Iwata USA has a bit more room to breathe in the company’s new 24,000-square-foot facility in Schumacher Commerce Park.

The North American subsidiary of the Japanese company, which produces parts for air compressors and spray paint coating equipment, recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new location. Anest Iwata USA has been headquartered in West Chester since 2006. It previously shared a space with a sister company.

“We both outgrew that facility so quickly that there wasn’t room for one of us, much less two,” said Nicolle Williams, marketing manager for Anest Iwata USA.

The fact that the township doesn’t impose an employment tax also provides some incentive for the business and its employees.

Representatives for the company considered other municipalities in Greater Cincinnati in search of their new location. However, moving to another municipality would have either impacted employees’ take-home pay or left the company to make up the difference in salary.

“It was just determined that staying in West Chester was best for the business and best for the employees, so we committed to buying this building,” Williams said.

Anest Iwata USA isn’t the only international business expanding within the township this year. Japanese company Kosei North America is relocating its headquarters from Mason this month, and German company DMG Mori USA is relocating its 15,000-square-foot office and show room to West Chester.

“It’s always been a good area,” said Jeff Sturtevant, regional director for DMG Mori. “They’ve really embraced industry.”

Anest Iwata USA, Kosei North America and DMG Mori are three of 60 international companies operating in West Chester. Those companies are represented by 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.

The township’s location on the I-75 corridor makes it a prime spot for international companies. Its position midway between Cincinnati and Dayton places West Chester within reasonable distance of two airports yet out of the way of city traffic congestion.

“The I-75 corridor is obviously a very big one,” Sturtevant said.

Despite the “small-town feel” of being somewhat removed from the region’s major cities, the area has ample resources through the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, Williams said.

“They have a big-city mentality, but they’re still very, very accessible,” she added.

The accommodations, stores and entertainment venues in the area add to the appeal for international business travelers too, Sturtevant said.

The location is beneficial not only for business representatives flying in from other countries but for hiring local employees.

“Being located where we are, as far as talent … we have several different markets we can pull from,” Williams said.

Access to an educated workforce and educational partners are key factors for businesses both international and local, said Aaron Wiegand, community development director for West Chester Township.

“They’re looking for the same things any other company is looking for,” he said.

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