Toyota Material Handling planning major expansion at Columbus plant

Toyota Material Handling is planning a major expansion along Deaver Road in Columbus, with estimates of a $100 million dollar investment.

The company says it is planning to expand at the 65-acre site across the road from its existing Walesboro location because there is not enough space there. The expansion will allow the company to meet growing demand for its products, especially electrical forklifts.

Company executive Tony Miller told the Columbus Redevelopment Commission yesterday that the company has four manufacturing sites in North America, and evaluated all of them for the project, but would prefer to grow here. Miller said he could not release exact cost estimates on the project but it is approaching $100 million dollars for a 260,000 square foot facility. The goal is to start production in June of 2026.

Toyota has nearly 2,100 workers in Columbus and produced its first forklift here in 1989. The new factory would start with 85 employees, Miller said.

Funding to study road improvements for the project were approved Monday by city officials and last week the Columbus Plan Commission signed off on a proposal to rezone the three properties from agricultural to industrial use and to annex it into the city limits.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission yesterday approved up to $50,000 to fund a study of road improvements needed along Deaver Road, and County Roads 225W, 150W and at the Southern Crossing intersection.

Graphic courtesy of Columbus Planning Department.