Johnson City Press: Ebm-papst plans $1.45M reno at temporary facility in Johnson City
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Ebm-papst plans $1.45M reno at temporary facility in Johnson City

David Floyd • Jul 8, 2019 at 7:27 PM

Ebm-papst, a manufacturer of electric motors and fans, is moving forward with a $1.45 million renovation of a warehouse at 611 Wesinpar Drive, which will serve as temporary space while the company prepares its permanent location in Telford.

The company announced in May that it would invest $37 million in a new location at the Washington County Industrial Park, bringing roughly 200 new jobs to the region once it is operational.

Alicia Summers, vice president of business development at the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership, said the company plans to move into the Johnson City warehouse in early September and needed the temporary space to begin their assembling and manufacturing work.

NETREP had a lead role, Summers said, in attracting Ebm-papst to the area. The organization started its recruitment process in March 2018.

It’s Summers’ understanding that the company will move out of the temporary space at Wesinpar Drive once it completes its the permanent location in Telford.

“We won’t know until they get into their permanent location,” she said. “I know their plan is to build it out large enough that they won’t need a second facility in Johnson City.”

Summers said the company is at least 24 months away from starting construction at the permanent facility in Telford.

Although details are a uncertain at this time, Phil Hartman, senior director of marketing at Ebm-papst in North America, said the company could be in the facility for at least two or three years, but noted that the time frame is open-ended depending on how the project develops.

He said the company is aiming to have the new facility in Telford up and running within five years.

Johnson City issued a building permit for the work at 611 Wesinpar Drive in June, and according to the company’s building permit application, which was submitted by contractor Blaine Construction Corporation in late May, Ebm-papst will use the Wesinpar building for manufacturing and incoming and outgoing product storage. The building will also include office space.

Summers said the property at Wesinpar, which according to the permit application is about 53,350 square feet, will be a smaller version of the building the company will occupy in the industrial park, which she said has a phase one buildout of between 100,000 and 150,000 square feet.

In the first year, Summers said the company is planning on posting 70 job openings for its temporary facility, but it has an immediate need of 30 employees before early September. Those openings include computer numeric control operators, powder paint line operators, shift supervisors and line leaders.

Summers anticipates the company will begin posting job descriptions on jobs4tn.gov within the next week or so.

According to a press release on the company’s website, the facility in Telford will be the company’s second production site in the U.S. The company will manufacture fans for refrigeration, air conditioning and ventilation applications at the facility.

The Germany-based company currently employs more than 15,000 people at 48 sales offices and 27 production sites in locations that include China, Germany and the U.S.

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