Hyperion's high-tech homecoming brings 700 jobs
On the heels of last month's big Intel announcement, Columbus leaders are celebrating the arrival of a hydrogen technology company expected to bring nearly 700 new jobs to the West Side.
Why it matters: The $296 million investment marks the city's largest manufacturing project in a decade.
State of play: Hyperion Companies, which specializes in hydrogen technology for super-fast cars and other energy and utility purposes, was founded in Columbus back in 2011.
- The company moved to California a few years later to take advantage of its green energy infrastructure, but is now moving back to Ohio to focus more on production.
What they'll do: Hyperion plans to make its core product of hydrogen fuel cell engines along with super cars on site, though CEO Angelo Kafantaris said final vehicle assembly may take place elsewhere.
- Kafantaris teased other "exciting new technologies" to be rolled out this spring.
- The 65-acre site, once used as the Columbus Dispatch printing facility, offers room to grow should Hyperion's production output expand in the coming years.
What they're saying: Kafantaris said this homecoming resulted not from nostalgia, but from careful analysis showing the region's "perfect blend" of high-tech development and manufacturing expertise.
- "There was no decision other than Columbus that could be made after doing our research and after having our support network," he said at Tuesday's announcement, while flanked by a prototype of the Hyperion X-P1 super car.
Details: Like the Intel deal, Hyperion will receive government support for the project.
- Columbus City Council approved a "jobs growth incentive agreement" on Monday offering cash payments based on new income tax withholdings.
- An estimated 683 new production and engineering jobs will pay more than $60,000 per year on average.
- Site work is set to begin this summer, with X-P1 and other production starting next year.
The big picture: Mayor Andrew Ginther and Councilman Nick Bankston noted the importance of the project's location in an area once known as a manufacturing hub by highlighting the cross between tech growth and opportunities for blue-collar workers.
- Bankston prefers this new nickname for Columbus: "The Silicon Valley of the Midwest."
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