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Hopewell Twp. Johnson Controls facility to open in April
The new facility will not create new jobs upon opening in April.
Johnson Controls Inc. is preparing to open its administrative office building in Hopewell Township in April as a yearslong $150 million construction project nears completion.
The 107,000-square-foot administrative building will bring engineers, designers, drafters and software developers from Johnson Controls’ Grantley facility, located at 631 S. Richland Ave. in York. The new facility will include amenities such as cafes and eateries for nonworkplace-related engagement among colleagues.
Approximately 450 employees will transfer to the Hopewell Township facility, according to Steve Graham, a public relations representative with Godfrey, a marketing firm in Lancaster that is working for Johnson Controls.
None of the employees at the Hopewell facility will be new hires, according to Graham, but he said the new location will be a stepping stone to adding more skilled workers.
“One of the allures of having this facility is that it’s closer to Baltimore, so it has the ability to recruit top-level engineering talent to the facility,” he said.
Laura Wand, vice president of chiller solutions at Johnson Controls, said the company wanted to “build where we could keep the talent.”
Wand also said the expansion is becoming a York County tradition.
"We started in the 1870s doing this, and we moved to where we are now on Grantley on Richland Avenue in the 1950s," she said. "We only move about every 70 years."
In 2013, the Wisconsin-based electronics conglomerate received a $5 million grant from the state under former-Gov. Tom Corbett from his Economic Growth Initiative. The grant was given in part to prevent jobs from moving to a new facility in Maryland, according to a news release promoting the initiative at the time.
York International, the former HVAC company in York, was purchased by Johnson Controls in August 2005 for $3.2 billion.
“This is a really important facility,” Graham said of the Hopewell center. “There’s also one in China, and between the two main facilities that will serve Johnson Controls customers around the world, they will not only be meeting customer needs but doing the research and development” of commercial-grade chillers.
“York brand chillers are used in high-rise buildings around the world,” Graham added.
The new campus also will have a nearby 250,000-square-foot testing center, which will open later in the year, that will examine air conditioners typically used in commercial buildings. The transfer of testing materials from its Spring Garden Township facility will take until June 2018, according to Wand.
The facilities, located right off of Interstate 83's Shrewsbury exit, have had some local residents concerned about traffic issues in the area. Hopewell Township Manager Kristy Spevak confirmed the township commissioned a traffic study, which was conducted by Transportation Resource Group Inc.
Wand said many improvements have been made concerning traffic and have "minimized constraints" in the area. She said that the new budget proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf has funds set aside for a redesign of the interchange near the facility.
"That has certainly been long needed, and we applaud the spending on York County," Wand said.
Johnson Controls will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the new administrative offices in late April, according to Graham.