Madison Co. celebrates new business’s move, former Honeywells building

Spark Robotic owner Frank Johnson cuts the ribbon at a ceremony celebrating the business' move to Madison County.

MARS HILL – After Honeywell vacated its Micro Switch building in Mars Hill in 2012, the 110,000-square-foot building has been largely underutilized.

That all changed when Spark Robotic owner Frank Johnson acquired the building last fall. On Sept. 24, county government officials celebrated the business moving to Madison with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility, located on Hickory Drive near the university’s athletic complex.

Spark Robotic specializes in computerized numerical control machines, including plasma cutting tables and router tables.

Development Services Director Brad Guth welcomed the ceremony, which included members of the county commission and Mars Hill town board.

“We’re really excited to be here at Spark Robotic, and all the other businesses that are here in the former Micro Switch building,” Guth said.

Spark Robotic owner Frank Johnson bought the manufacturing complex located at 400 Hickory Drive in Mars Hill in October 2021.

“On behalf of Madison County government, we’re just very pleased to have everybody here this afternoon,” Interim County Manager Norris Gentry said. “I must say that we’re very happy to have someone relocated from Buncombe County to Madison County to find your happy place.”

Spark Robotic owner Frank Johnson said he purchased the building in October 2021, though the company operated in its Woodfin location until moving full-time to the Mars Hill complex in spring 2022.