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Sports toy company plans to move to city

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Oyo Sports, a manufacturer of figurines resembling professional athletes, is planning to relocate from Acton to Marlborough, a move that would bring nearly 200 jobs to the city.

Founded in 2011, Oyo Sports is planning an $8 million renovation of the property at 111 Locke Drive, which would house a manufacturing facility and the company’s corporate headquarters. Oyo Sports is seeking a 10-year tax increment financing deal with the city, according to documents filed with the city.

“This will result in 195 new jobs in Marlborough and an approximately $8 million investment in the existing site through combined soft, real property and personal property costs,” Mayor Arthur Vigeant wrote in a letter to the City Council.

On Monday, the City Council referred the company’s request to the Finance Committee, which will discuss the proposal on Oct. 26, said Finance Committee Chairman Michael Ossing.

Craig Gainsboro, CFO of Oyo Sports, said the company has outgrown its 30,000-square-foot space in Acton and conducted an “exhaustive” seven-month search along Interstate 495 for its new home. The company wants to move to Marlborough because of an educated workforce, as well as the city’s access to major roads.

“We would welcome this potential opportunity to create a partnership with Marlborough and your willingness to assist Oyo Sports as we grow,” Gainsboro wrote in a letter to Vigeant.

A privately held company, Oyo Sports has seen “tremendous” growth due to its licensing agreements with Major League Baseball, the NFL, NHL and NCAA to create Lego-like figurines of their star players, said Gainsboro.

“Oyo has quickly capitalized on these assets and has secured wonderful distribution into big-box retailers while simultaneously creating an online presence that can customize and expedite sales through the company’s online portal,” Gainsboro wrote.

The initial move would bring 95 full-time jobs by mid-2016. Oyo Sports plans to create another 100 new jobs over the next 10 years, said Gainsboro.

Vigeant said the proposal would bring the city $462,626 in tax revenue over the course of the deal.

Oyo Sports’ proposal is testament to the city’s commitment to bringing in businesses and jobs, said Vigeant.

“Marlborough’s commercial activity has rebounded much quicker than the rest of the Route 495 belt and Oyo Sportstoys is another example of a company choosing to invest in Marlborough,” Vigeant wrote in a letter to the City Council.

Also Monday night, city councilors held a moment of silence in memory of City Councilor Robert Page, who died last Tuesday after a battle with cancer. Page’s desk was decorated with an American flag, disabled veterans flag, his Vietnam War veteran hat and a fallen soldier figure.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.