NEW ALBANY – Pretty soon, all remaining unemployed Licking County residents could theoretically find a job in or near the New Albany Personal Care and Beauty Campus.
Half of the 14 companies already there or coming to the area north of the Ohio 161-Beech Road interchange, in Licking County, are expanding or building new facilities.
The growing companies will bring more than 1,700 jobs to Licking County, including about 600 new positions and 1,100 transferred from other locations. The growth will increase employment to about 3,000 in the beauty campus and nearby American Electric Power.
All but about 100 of those jobs have been created since 2011. More than 9,000 people work in the 3,000-acre New Albany International Business Park in Licking and Franklin counties.
Licking County, with a steadily decreasing unemployment rate at 4 percent in November, has 3,400 people looking for work and without a job.
“We assist a lot of companies in the beauty park with their recruitment,” said Windy Murphy, supervisor of business services for OhioMeansJobs/Licking County. “We really try hard to include the names of the employers in our job fairs.”
Of course, applicants must either have the jobs skills or be able to acquire the skills to get hired. And transportation could be an obstacle for some to make the 20-minute drive from Newark.
But with job creation soaring and unemployment decreasing, opportunities appear plentiful for those looking for work.
“The drive really isn’t that far, especially with the (highway) improvements that have been made,” Murphy said. “We don’t have a lot of people that say it’s too far.”
The seven expanding companies will make a combined investment of $264.7 million during 2014 to 2016, adding almost 1.4 million square feet of manufacturing space.
The 14 New Albany companies in Licking County represent close to $400 million in private investment on about 1,000 acres in Licking County.
Pending annexations will increase the business park to 4,000 acres, with almost half in Licking County.
L Brands, AEP
The largest Licking County developments are L Brands and AEP.
L Brands, parent company of Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, is building an 860,000-square-foot facility, including a distribution center opening late this year and an office section opening in 2016.
“Adding a third campus in New Albany will complement our operations in Reynoldsburg and on Morse Road and will support our goals of doubling the size of our business and continuing our international growth,” said Tammy Roberts Myers, L Brands’ vice president of communications.
The L Brands complex will include about 500 employees transferred from the Reynoldsburg distribution center and about 100 new employees, Myers said.
AEP, one of the largest electric utilities in the country, based in Columbus, announced it will build a 195,000-square-foot transmission headquarters just west of Beech Road next to its transmission operations center.
The AEP headquarters will bring 660 employees from Gahanna and Columbus, in addition to the 140 employees already at the operations center.
The $39 million facility will be completed in 2016.
Bocchi Laboratories, a California-based contract manufacturer of health, beauty and personal care products, will employ 300 after it completes its 130,000-square-foot facility at the beauty campus in 2016.
Knowlton Development Corp., which manufactures personal care products, will spend $16 million to add 59,000 square feet to its existing 250,000-square-foot facility in the beauty campus, just east of Beech Road.
“We’ve seen a great opportunity to expand our business,” Division President Ian Kalinosky said. “Our setup in New Albany has been a great success for the company.
“The beauty park concept and the key suppliers right down the street really helps. The business climate is very supportive and friendly. It’s a fantastic opportunity to expand into different areas.”
The additional space will allow KDC to enter the market of fine fragrances and perfumes, Kalinosky said.
KDC opened in New Albany in 2012. It also has a facility in Virginia and two in Canada. The expansion will add 60 jobs to the existing workforce of 300.
Exhibitpro, which provides custom and modular trade show exhibits, opened its new 54,000-square-foot multiuse facility a year ago on the northeast edge of the beauty campus.
The company moved its operation from the Polaris area. The location is further away from some clients, but the move to the beauty campus has been worth it, Vice President Greg Lindsey said.
“We looked at a lot of different areas,” Lindsey said. “You don’t have to navigate through a town or city to get to the office park. If this concept were not here, I don’t think we’d considered New Albany.
“It’s worked out even better for us than we had anticipated. All of the feedback from clients and employees has all been positive.”
The $3.5 million facility includes a showroom, design department and fabrication area. Exhibitpro is a contract vendor for Bath & Body Works and has done small projects with other clients in the beauty park.
“It certainly has really helped us,” Lindsey said. “We didn’t have a staging area (at Polaris). This is climate-controlled. We know 99 percent of this is show ready before it leaves.”
Anomatic, a Newark-based provider of metal packaging components for cosmetic industry, will complete a 70,000-square-foot addition to its New Albany facility later this year.
Nearly all of the additional space will be for manufacturing, allowing the company to add a high-tech process of vaccuum metalizing, a way of giving a metallic appearance to glass or plastic, President and CEO Scott Rusch said.
“It’s a very efficient machine we will be purchasing and installing,” Rusch said. “The latest and greatest of technology.
“We see this having great application for shaped parts. It’s difficult to make out of aluminum, but it can be made out of injected molded plastic.”
The company, which employs 580 people in Newark and 120 in New Albany, will add 70 employees to the New Albany operation.
“We’ve had some success out here,” Rusch said. “Business has been growing the last few years. I think (business) is very much influenced by being in this park.”
Magnanni, a family-owned company producing fine men’s dress shoes for more than 50 years in Spain, moved into its 15,000-square-foot beauty campus facility in December.
There are 10 employees at the facility and a couple more may be added within a year.
After moving its U.S. headquarters from Dallas to Akron to Columbus to New Albany, Chief Financial Officer Paul Roehrenback said the sales and distribution center will be a permanent site.
“This will be long-term, with an opportunity to expand the warehouse portion,” Roehrenback said. “It’s been wonderful. We’ve organized ourselves better and are more efficient.
“It’s a very convenient location for distribution purposes and travel purposes. Everything is very convenient from here.”
The company, which also makes belts and wallets, does business with Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
By Kent Mallett
From the Newark Advocate