Cox Media Group has reached an agreement to sell the building that previously housed print operations for its Ohio publications, the company announced Wednesday. The sale to Capital Environmental Risk Transfer Alliance LLC, is expected to close May 25. CMG Ohio closed the Franklin printing plant in 2017, after securing an agreement with Gannett Newspapers to print its three daily newspapers — the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News — as well as weekly publications in the company’s Indianapolis plant. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Franklin attracted buyer for well-known I-75 building with the help of an international effort

The company, which manufactures automated vertical storage and retrieval systems, is making a building once occupied by Cox Media Group Ohio’s Print Technology Center at 5000 Commerce Center Drive in Franklin the company’s second location in the United States.

After experiencing high growth in sold units, the company initially decided to expand in the U.S. by separately establishing a new manufacturing operation and logistics hub. Besides the sale of the building, the new location will generate 100 new jobs.

The building it chose could be “the most iconic, identifiable, and most well-known industrial building in the region,” said Chuck Ackerman, brokerage senior vice president of Colliers International.

“It checks all of those boxes of a top-notch-superior industrial building, and critically, it provides extra land for future company growth,” Ackerman said.

FIRST REPORT: A well-known building on I-75 will soon be alive with 100 new jobs, $26M investment

In partnership with the European American Chamber of Commerce, the project represents ongoing efforts by REDI Cincinnati to attract foreign investment to the Greater Cincinnati region.

EACC met with representatives from REDI Cincinnati, JobsOhio and Modula to learn about the strategic location of the region, talent management opportunities, quality of living, innovation and technology and the cost of doing business, according to Yannick Schilly, president and CEO of Altix Consulting and board president of the European American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cincinnati.

They also discussed the quality of schools and education, success stories at companies of varying sizes and various other facts and figures.

After considering other locations, Modula found that the Commerce Center Drive building met all of its needs for both manufacturing and logistics, which led to the company locating both operations in the building.

Schilly said the benefits of recruiting additional international/European companies into Southwest Ohio include boosting job creation and making more high-paying careers available and increasing the amount of business for local small and medium-size companies. He also said the research and development expenditures of European companies are among the highest.

It also means stronger positioning of our region compared to other high attractive foreign direct investment (FDI) regions, states and metro areas.

“Modula’s investment is just more evidence of European and international confidence in the economic future of our region,” Schilly said. “We’re proud to have been part of the team (with REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio) to support Modula in reaching this decision.”

Franklin City Manager Sonny Lewis said he and other city officials “look forward to a long-lasting partnership where together we can make Franklin a better place to live, work and play.”

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