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Daifuku North America Holding Co., which manufactures automation and material handling systems, is planning to move its headquarters from Farmington Hills into a new building in Novi.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced Friday that the Daifuku Co. Ltd. subsidiary chose Novi over a competing location in Ohio for its new 76,889-square-foot facility at an undisclosed location. It expects the project to invest more than $15 million and create up to 85 jobs. Construction is slated to begin in September and continue until August 2017.

“Daifuku’s decision to establish this new facility in Michigan rather than another state means good jobs for Michigan residents and underscores the strength of the talent in the state’s automotive sector,” said Steve Arwood, CEO of the MEDC.

Despite having land near one of its manufacturing operations in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and a “competitive offer of incentives” to attract Daifuku’s current operations in Michigan from the Buckeye State, the holding company chose Michigan to be close to the automotive industry, according to a briefing memo from the MEDC.

Daifuku has 427 employees in Michigan already. In addition to its Farmington Hills headquarters, it has two manufacturing facilities and another office in Walker.

The MEDC and Michigan Strategic Fund is supporting the project with a $700,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to help with purchasing the property, said Kathy Achtenberg, spokeswoman for the MEDC. Novi is also providing Daifuku with a property tax abatement.

“Novi has become an attractive location for research, technology and service providers,” Novi Mayor Bob Gatt said in a news release. “Daifuku’s desire to locate here contributes to our community’s tremendous growth and vibrant spirit in support of the automotive industry.”

Daifuku is looking to hire engineering, sales and project management positions for its new headquarters that will accommodate three of the holding company’s subsidiaries: Jervis B. Webb Co. headquartered in Farmington Hills; Wynright Corp. headquartered in Elk Grove, Illinois; and Daifuku America Corp. headquartered in Reynoldsburg.

The move is expected to bring new manufacturing projects at the two Jervis B. Webb facilities in Harbor Springs and Boyne City, according to the memo.

“Daifuku’s commitment to Michigan reflects the great advantage of locating in the capital of automotive manufacturing,” Arwood said. “We’re pleased Daifuku chose Michigan as the home for its North American headquarters.”

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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