Casa Grande gives final approval for $300 million manufacturing plant

Casa Grande gives final approval for $300 million manufacturing plant

Article Originally Posted By PhoenixBusinessJournal On November 16, 2021

The Casa Grande City Council gave the final nod of approval to the planned $300 million for Kohler Co., a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom fixtures, engines and generators, and tile and lighting at its meeting Monday night.

The council voted 6-0 in favor of adopting the development agreement with Kohler. Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons recused herself from the vote. Monday night’s vote was the final hearing needed for the development agreement, which first went before the council on Nov. 9.

At the Nov. 9 meeting, City Manager Larry Rains said the planned 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility, located on 216 acres of land near Clayton and north Ethington roads will be the first development at the Pinal Tech Park, but “I really doubt it will be our last.”

Rains said future items that will come before the council in the upcoming months will add connections to the tech park that will make the park more accessible and ready for more development.

The city continues to see substantial interest in the technology park and the area around the planned Kohler plant, Rains said.

Construction is expected to take about 18 months, and the 425 jobs are expected to be created over a five-year time frame.

The initial capital investment for the construction and operation of the facility is expected to exceed $300 million, according to city documents.

Of the 425 jobs expected to be created over a five-year period, a “significant number” are expected to have an hourly wage at least 75% higher than minimum wage, according to city documents.

According to the agreement, construction must begin within one year of the adoption of the development agreement, and reach completion within four years.

At Monday’s meeting, Rains said the loss of the planned Nacero gasoline plant was a huge loss to the city, but the work that company had done to prepare the site left it more readily available to be developed by the next users. Nacero had planned to build a $3 billion plant to manufacture gasoline from natural gas, but in late 2020 the company told the city it was reprioritizing other sites and halting the Casa Grande site.