An aerial shot of the site from 2014. Credit: Aerial Photography Inc.

Netting a tankless water heater plant from Japanese subsidiary Rinnai America is the latest win for what has been pitched as an “eco industrial park” in Griffin, Ga.

The concept might sound like an oxymoron, but the 450-acre Lakes at Green Valley was developed in an attempt to minimize industrial impacts on the surrounding environment. The park has special building codes and is to incorporate walking trails. Eventual plans call for a hotel with cottages and a town center with 70 percent green space.

Rinnai announced Aug. 4 it would build a $69 million factory in the park, creating 300 jobs over 10 years as it makes more of its best-selling product in the United States. It becomes the fourth major Japanese investment in the park, which is already home to Toppan, Otsuka Chemical and Marukan.

Rinnai’s announcement came just after Gov. Nathan Deal met with officials from the Nagoya-based company during a business mission to Japan last week.

It also came about a month after Rinnai USA said it would spend $15 million to build a new headquarters in Peachtree City and convert the existing building into a research and development center.

Charles Copeland, chair of the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority, said the tankless water heaters, which are more efficient than traditional water heaters, fit well in the industrial park.

“Their energy efficient product line is a perfect fit for the eco-friendly theme of our business park, and the quality and number of jobs they are expected to create will be of great benefit to our community,” Mr. Copeland said in a news release.

Japanese companies employ nearly 30,000 Georgians, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...

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