A company with an international reach will relocate its North American headquarters and advanced manufacturing facility to Mason’s rapidly filling Research & Development Park.
Constructing a new $50 million headquarters on a 230,000-square-foot campus, VEGA will bring 217 employees to the city and create an additional 50 new jobs over five years.
The new headquarters will open in 2021 and will include a state-of-the-art business and training center and advanced manufacturing and production facilities on 50 acres.
“If you want to have a world-class company, you’ve got to put it in a world-class city,” said VEGA co-CEO John Groom. “For us, what’s really important is the lifestyle that Mason portrays. It’s a great family community, it’s a great family environment. I believe that your entrepreneurs and your employees of the future are definitely sitting and developing in the schools within Mason, so for us, it just seemed to be a perfect fit.”
VEGA employs more than 1,480 people worldwide with 730 at its global headquarters in Germany. The company provides measurement technology in highly complex processing industries.
On a local level, MadTree Brewing’s tanks use VEGA instrumentation to measure level.
The company realized in 2018 that it was on a trajectory that would see it run out of space at its facility Cincinnati’s Oakley neighborhood, according to John Kronenberger, co-CEO of VEGA.
“We’ve been growing for quite a while, so we knew this day was coming,” said Kronenberger. “It was just not possible to expand on the footprint that we have here and meet the global needs of our customers for the long term.”
The new facility, which will be approximately double the size of the company’s existing operations, will be designed by Cincinnati-based BHDP Architecture, he said. Messer Construction will serve as construction manager.
Site work on the project will start “as soon as possible” because VEGA has just introduced a new series of products that is unable to manufacture in Cincinnati for its North American and global market, Groom said.
Mason City Council on Monday night approved an ordinance authorizing the purchase and sale of approximately 50 acres and an economic participation agreement with the company for an incentive package to include a 15-year Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatement contingent upon job creation, payroll, and an annual Mason City School PILOT payment during the term of the abatement.
The incentive package is based on 217 employees coming to Mason and approximately 50 new jobs added over five years for an additional payroll of approximately $3 million on top of the initial $16 million.
The company estimates the building value at $20 million which will generate a PILOT of approximately $312,500 in new revenue to the school as a result of the project.
Overall, total new revenue generated back into the community during the term of the abatement is more than $7 million in both PILOT payments to the schools and payroll taxes to the city.
The new R&D park is generating revenue back into the schools, while stimulating the economy, city officials said. Without the proactive work by both the school and the city, the land could have stayed vacant or been developed into residential property, which could have added to the school district population and produced a lower overall value from a tax standpoint, officials said.
Mason R&D Park East encompasses 400 acres north of Bethany Road and extends between U.S. 42 west across Ohio 741.
VEGA is the third investment announced for the Mason R&D Park in a little more than four months, following Rhinestahl on Sept. 10 and Precision Castparts Corp. on Dec. 10, for a total of $200 million in new investment and more than 500 employees as the new campuses take shape.
Masters Drug Company, part of McKesson Pharmaceutical, moved to Mason R&D Park several years ago as its first tenant.
Michele Blair, Mason’s economic development director, said the VEGA deal and the ones that preceded it represent the “cornerstone” of economic development for the city.
“We have a master strategic economic plan, we know which industry sectors we’re strong in where we have the talent that feeds that and the community elements that round it out,” Blair said. “We know what our assets and our strengths are and look for company that are a good fit.”
Mason Mayor Kathy Grossman said she could not think of a better way to kick off the new year in economic development.
“We have a lot of momentum in the Mason R&D Park with new partnerships that have formed based on thoughtful, long-term planning,” Grossman said.
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