[UPDATED] Proposed Cedar Rapids Appliance Facility Gets Incentive Approval From City, State
[UPDATE June 17 10:30 am] The construction of a new manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids is all but assured after the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board unanimously approved a financial incentive package Friday morning.
According to a media release from the City of Cedar Rapids, Sub-Zero Group Inc., the board's decision "follows support earlier this week from the Cedar Rapids City Council to ensure the proposed $140.6 million facility is located here."
Sub-Zero is expected to begin work on the new Cedar Rapids light manufacturing facility next summer with expected to wrap up in September of 2025. The city says it marks "the third straight year a $100 million + project has been announced in the City of Cedar Rapids."
[UPDATE June 15 at 8 am) On Tuesday, the Cedar Rapids City Council approved a term sheet for a 20-year, 75-percent tax exemption for a proposed new light manufacturing plant for appliance maker, Sub-Zero. The council is expected to review a development agreement, the final step in the process with the city, later this summer.
Cedar Rapids will also sponsor a state application for assistance through the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The request will be reviewed by that board this Friday, June 17.
The Corridor Business Journal says that Scott Wareing, who is a senior vice president for Sub-Zero said during Tuesday's meeting,
“We have reached the point that our three main sites are burgeoning and full, so we are seeking a new location to add to our footprint for the next leg of our journey. It’s just a phenomenal fit for us and you.”
Ron Corbett of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance told the Corridor Business Journal that Sub-Zero would produce refrigeration units in Cedar Rapids.
[ORIGINAL STORY] Cedar Rapids could soon welcome a business that has an amazing history when it comes to appliances for the home.
Sub-Zero, which is based in Madison, Wisconsin and manufactures products in both Wisconsin and Arizona, is looking to build a light manufacturing facility off 6th St SW in Cedar Rapids, east of the Eastern Iowa Airport.
According to the Gazette, Sub-Zero would construct a 400,000 square-foot building at a total cost of more than $140 million. The facility would create 192 full-time jobs. Approximately two-thirds of those would pay at least $24.20 per hour.
Tuesday, June 14, the Cedar Rapids City Council will consider whether to provide Sub-Zero with a tax exemption of 75% on the property's increased value. If approved as the term sheet states, it would be in effect for 20 years and would only be triggered if Sub-Zero meets employment and wage requirements. The Gazette says the Iowa Economic Development Authority will also review incentives for the proposed facility this Friday, June 17.
Sub-Zero has a very storied history. Sub-Zero Freezer Company was founded by Westye Bakke in 1945, two years after he built his first freestanding freezer from scrap metal. According to the company's website, Bakke bent the coils with his bare hands. Sub-Zero Freezer Company's name was chosen "because its freezers were the first to meet the strict quality standards for below-zero safety in freezing food."
In 1955, Sub-Zero developed dual refrigeration. In the 1990s, the company began to create refrigeration units that blended into the decor of the kitchen. In addition to Sub-Zero, the company also makes Wolf and Cove products.
Westye Bakke's grandson, Jim Bakke, has been Sub-Zero's president for the last 30 years. He said in a 2020 press release, "Customers reach out to us all the time. Their Sub-Zero units are 30, sometimes 40 years old and still going strong. We are keenly aware of our heritage and see it as our obligation to be the specialists in not only refrigeration but in cooking and cleaning products for the kitchen..."
You can see more on Sub-Zero's innovative products in the video below.
If Sub-Zero ends up moving ahead with the Cedar Rapids facility, the Gazette says work would likely begin in August of 2023 with the project expected to take two full years to complete.