Madison, WI — Sub-Zero Group Inc., the leading manufacturer of luxury appliances, is undertaking a $62 million expansion of its facility in Fitchburg, Wisconsin—a project expected to bring more than 300 jobs to Dane County over the next three years.
“As we approached this expansion, we reviewed our facility planning to best utilize our resources to meet increased demand and expected growth for the Wolf cooking brand, and to produce our new line of dishwashers under the new brand Cove launching in 2017,” said James J. Bakke, company president and CEO. “We are concentrating on lean state-of-the-art manufacturing practices to ensure our leading edge quality control and flexibility, and to maintain a leadership position in the face of changing market demands and competition.”
The company’s 66-acre Fitchburg campus will expand to 99 acres to accommodate a 400,000- square-foot addition to its current Wolf facility. The Wolf plant will more than double in size to reach 755,000 square feet. It is adjacent to the Sub-Zero Built-in plant and the Westye F. Bakke training center. Construction is now under way and the project is expected to be completed in late 2016.
“We are excited at the opportunity to create over 300 new jobs in the next two to three years,” said Chuck Verri, vice president of human resources for the two companies. “We enjoy an excellent relationship with the Local 565 SMART union representing our employees and we are pleased to expand in Fitchburg.”
To help facilitate the project, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has authorized Sub-Zero to receive up to $2.75 million in state tax credits through the end of 2018. The actual amount of credits the company will earn is contingent upon the company meeting specific job creation and wage requirements.
“Sub-Zero is a strong, third-generation family-owned business and one of Dane County’s largest employers, and we are pleased to be able to support the company in this expansion,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development agency. “We are pleased to be able to assist the company in this major project that will have a positive impact on the entire region.”
In addition to the tax credits from WEDC, the City of Fitchburg, with unanimous support from the Fitchburg Common Council, Plan Commission, and tax increment district partners (Dane County, Madison College & the Verona Area School District), has also agreed to provide $2.25 million in funding to help offset infrastructure costs associated with the project.
"We are delighted that Sub-Zero and Wolf has selected our community for another major facility expansion that will create 300 new jobs," said Fitchburg Mayor Steve Arnold. "This process has been a collaborative effort among Sub-Zero and Wolf, WEDC, other state agencies and the city to prepareour community, the greater Madison region and the state for this exciting project.” He added, “On behalf of the City of Fitchburg, we are proud to have a quality company like Sub-Zero Group, Inc. as our premier employer, and we appreciate its commitment to our community.”
Sub-Zero Group, Inc. was founded in 1945 by Westye F. Bakke in Madison. In addition to facilities in Fitchburg and Madison, Wisconsin, the company also has operations in Arizona and Kentucky.
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