Lego plans to take a position no less than $1 billion to build its simplest U.S.-based production plant in Chesterfield County, Gov. Glenn Youngkin introduced Wednesday.
The Virginia manufacturing facility — a 1.7 million-square-foot massive that shall be Lego’s 7th production facility on this planet and provide the Americas — is estimated to create greater than 1,700 jobs over 10 years and is projected to open for manufacturing by means of mid-2025. Development, at the side of hiring, starts later this yr, however a precise month has but to be set.
“This best-in-class, world-class facility shall be constructed brick by means of brick,” Youngkin mentioned on the Science Museum of Virginia to a crowd of state financial and political leaders, best Lego officers and Denmark’s U.S. ambassador. “That is the way forward for production, and it’s proper right here within the commonwealth of Virginia.”
The 90-year-old international toymaker hasn’t had a manufacturing facility in North The usa since last its first one in Enfield, Conn., just about 15 years in the past and moving manufacturing to Mexico. With the U.S. a key marketplace, the growth’s objective is to shorten provide chain problems and scale back the corporate’s carbon footprint — a hefty objective that Lego Staff CEO Niels B. Christiansen mentioned hinges on decreasing emissions by means of 37% by means of 2032.
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Conversations about bringing the Lego plant to Virginia date again to no less than October, when Gov. Ralph Northam used to be in place of work.
Christiansen mentioned its dedication to making sure the toy corporate’s vegetation are environmentally sustainable shall be launched in public studies. He mentioned the Chesterfield manufacturing facility shall be designed to be carbon impartial, which means that offsetting carbon emissions via initiatives equivalent to renewable power efforts.
Two of the corporate’s primary ambitions for the website come with making it “extremely power environment friendly” with 100% being matched by means of on-site renewable assets to attenuate power use. The manufacturing facility may also be paired with a sun park, which shall be constructed by means of 2025 and generate the power wanted for the plant to run.
“For us, sustainability is tremendous essential. Whilst you serve youngsters, it can’t be anything else however … essential. The arena and the planet they inherit must be a spot for them to are living,” Christiansen mentioned. “I will be able to inform you each week, I am getting numerous letters from youngsters who write to me about their issues and their needs and their visions of what to do.”
In 2020, Lego introduced its removing of single-use plastics and proposed a undertaking to make all of its core merchandise from sustainable fabrics by means of 2030.
The transfer comes years after just about 5 million Legos had been misplaced at sea when a 28-foot wave hit a shipment send in 1997. Scientists have estimated a unmarried Lego block may just take any place from 100 to at least one,300 years to decompose.
The ability shall be housed in Chesterfield’s Meadowville Generation Park, which has been round for greater than two decades and sits adjoining to I-295 and the James River. In 2020, the county put forth $3 million out of the $21 million overall used to shop for 353 acres as an add-on to the park.
On-line Chesterfield information assessed the land at about $3.5 million.
Garrett Hart, director of Chesterfield Financial Construction, mentioned the partnership with Lego presentations why it’s important for the county to have project-ready websites. The one possible possibility to be had used to be Meadowville.
“It’s taken us a number of months to get right here, however the first day they noticed the website and met us at the website, they picked the website,” Hart mentioned. “They didn’t let us know that till a couple of month in the past.”
Chesterfield citizens have voiced complaint for any other era park referred to as Higher Magnolia Inexperienced, which can partly come with plastics production.
Lego manufactures greater than 100 billion plastic bricks once a year.
A written Q&A the corporate equipped to the media incorporated: “Is it environmentally sustainable to spend $1 billion construction a manufacturing facility that can produce hundreds of thousands of tonnes of plastic?” Lego mentioned the bricks are “inherently sustainable” as a result of they’re handed down from one technology to the following.
The Q&A additionally perceived to distance the corporate from the governor’s push to prohibit “important race concept” in Ok-12 colleges — declaring “we stand in opposition to racism and inequality.”
Every other query within the Q&A requested “How can / Does the LEGO Staff, as a emblem, fortify the present Governor’s political time table?”
It replied: “This can be a long-term, multi-generation funding which matches past the politics of nowadays, globally or in the neighborhood.”
It additionally famous how Legos have helped youngsters increase creativity and downside fixing abilities.
Lego executives didn’t percentage whether or not possible tax breaks made Virginia a extra horny chance for housing its sole facility within the U.S. and as a substitute cited the county’s transportation networks, how the state aligned with the corporate’s undertaking and the chance to spend money on communities whilst increasing its production community.
However in a unencumber, Youngkin’s place of work shared the LEGO Staff shall be eligible to obtain $56 million in Main Employment and Funding Venture efficiency grants matter to Common Meeting approval.
The MEI Venture Approval Fee used to be established to “evaluate financing for particular person incentive programs, together with however no longer restricted to programs providing tax incentives, for financial construction,” consistent with Virginia regulation.
“The ones incentives are pushed by means of the industrial enlargement that Lego will carry, and it is a framework that we’re the usage of with a purpose to strike a lot of these nice preparations with corporations that in truth carry financial enlargement, extra jobs, and consequently, extra tax revenues to the county and to the commonwealth,” Youngkin mentioned.
The announcement follows two different fresh financial construction wins for Virginia as Boeing and Raytheon Applied sciences introduced they had been transferring their headquarters to Northern Virginia.
Christiansen may just no longer say Wednesday whether or not there could be any plans so as to add a Lego retailer to Chesterfield to accompany the website.
Gov. Youngkin is pronouncing that Lego will make investments $1 billion to build its first US-based production plant in Chesterfield County that can come with a sun park.
“That is the way forward for production,” Youngkin mentioned
— Sabrina Moreno (@sabrinaamorenoo) June 15, 2022