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Anaheim Stitches Up Zipper Firm Deal : Jobs: YKK Inc. is the largest in its industry. It will build a new plant in a redevelopment area and add 115 employees.

October 20, 1993|DEBORA VRANA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

ANAHEIM — This city has managed to attract the world's largest zipper manufacturing firm, YKK (USA) Inc., to build a 150,000-square-foot building on vacant land in Anaheim's redevelopment area--a move expected to bring about 115 new jobs to the city.

YKK, the North American subsidiary of a Japanese manufacturer with operations in 40 countries, is expected to move its Los Angeles County zipper operations to Anaheim beginning next year.

According to Elisa Stipkovich, executive director of Anaheim's Community Development Agency, YKK should finalize the purchase of 9 1/2 vacant acres from the Catellus Corp. in early November.

"This means we're going to get a new manufacturer in our city and more jobs. Also this is a new building in our redevelopment area," said Stipkovich. "This will stimulate the economy in that area."

Based in Marietta, Ga., and with operations throughout the United States, YKK (USA), which also makes fasteners, buttons and needles, would move its Cerritos and Compton assembly plants to Anaheim. The two plants employ an estimated 130 workers.

"We're just considering purchasing some land there," said Rollie Roth, the YKK controller in Cerritos. "There's still a couple details to work out."

YKK plans to build a one-story office, manufacturing and warehouse facility at the corner of Landon Drive and La Palma Avenue. It will be constructed in order to permit expansion of an additional 41,000 square feet, a city staff report states. The City Council voted on Oct. 5 to approve the project.

Roth predicted most of the company's current employees would remain with YKK since the proposed Anaheim facility is about 20 miles from YKK's current Los Angeles County operations.

In order to attract YKK, Anaheim promised the company certain incentives, including payments equaling as much as $384,085, plus 6% interest, to offset the company's development costs, according to a city report.

"Yes, that's a positive from Anaheim. They've been real helpful to YKK," said Roth.

In the last five years, as part of her business retention efforts, Stipkovich has managed to retain five firms and attract five more to Anaheim, saving about 3,500 city jobs. Two examples of companies that decided to stay are Micro Technology Inc. and BACE Plastics Group Inc. Anaheim has been hard hit by job losses in the aerospace industry.

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