A Google Street View image of the OFS facility in Norcross.
Japanese subsidiary OFS is spending $138.9 million to expand two facilities in Gwinnett and Carroll counties.
The investment is set to create 200 jobs between the factories in the cities of Norcross and Carrollton as growing bandwidth needs are fueling optimism in OFS’s core business: fiber-optic cable.
OFS spokeswoman Sherry Salyer said the breakdown of jobs between the two facilities is “confidential” but that job numbers in the state have been “steadily increasing with global demand of optical fiber and cable.”
The future looks bright thanks to the proliferation of data centers, the prospect of 5G wireless networks and more fiber being installed to more homes for faster connections, according to executives of OFS, which is owned by $11 billion cable giant Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd.
“Furukawa Electric is responding with greater capacity, which you can see with the expansions and employment growth in Norcross and Carrollton. We foresee this demand continuing into the next decade with communication traffic estimated to increase during this period,” said Timothy F. Murray, head of the Global Optical Fiber and Cable business of Furukawa Electric and CEO of OFS.
The announced expansion comes just a few months after OFS and Jacoby Development Inc. settled two legal disputes over the latter’s plan to turn 100 acres of the Norcross property into a 5 million-square-foot film and media mecca with movie studios, apartments, offices, retail outlets and an education center.
OFS’s plans for the property are now unclear, but the company told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it’s “continuing to self-manage an active television and film production portfolio while continuing to market a portion of the property.”
Jacoby Development CEO Jim Jacoby had suggested to the AJC in 2015 that OFS was balking on the sale because it wanted to hold onto more land as its business improved.
Reached Tuesday by email, Ms. Salyer, the OFS spokeswoman, denied that idea, saying its plans to sell 100 “surplus” acres have “nothing to do” with its core manufacturing space, which continues to operate on about 69 acres of the property.
“Our existing footprint is enough to cater to all of our expansion plans,” she told Global Atlanta.
That’s consistent with what OFS has said since the initial announcement — that the film studio project wouldn’t disrupt its manufacturing operations or customer service.