JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) – Kenosha-based Serta Simmons Bedding plans to build a massive, state-of-the-art new facility in Janesville, which should bring many new jobs to Rock Co. soon after it opens, with the potential for more to come after that.
According to the company, the dual-brand manufacturing facility will open next year and produce Serta and Beautyrest-branded items.
In a statement announcing the new half-million-square-foot facility, Serta vice president of operations Terry Litwiler said it promises to be one of the largest dual-brand factories in the world. ‘business.
“This new facility is a critical part of our broader efforts to optimize our manufacturing footprint to ensure we deliver to our retail partners and consumers, while creating a state-of-the-art working environment for our employees” , he added.
The plant will require formwork for two current facilities, one which is already in Janesville and one in Beloit. However, Janesville Mayor Mark Frietag said all workers at those factories would move to the new one, and the mattress maker plans to add 100 more workers. A Serta spokesperson later confirmed that workers from Beloit and Janesville will be allowed to transfer.
After the plant opens, Serta plans to hire even more employees for its general production and warehousing needs.
“I’m proud of our team and partners in Rock County for diligently coordinating efforts between Serta Simmons Bedding, developer, Zilber, and the city,” he continued.
Janesville City Council approved three TIF Development Agreements Monday evening to support construction of the project. One of the agreements will provide an incentive of about $433 per newly hired worker for each of the 100 planned new hires. To qualify for the incentive, each new position must meet the equivalent of the city’s living wage, which is set at $20.81 per hour. Bonuses would be paid annually for nine years, with a maximum distribution set at just under $390,000 in total.
“We are opening a new chapter in our history and I am excited to see how our teams will continue to grow and thrive in the new community, while continuing to deliver our innovative products that help people sleep better so they can live healthier lives,” said Jim Fenton, chief operating officer of Serta, noting that the company is one of the largest employers in southern Wisconsin.
According to Serta, the existing Janesville plant is forty years old, having opened in 1982, and the Beloit plant is 35 years old. The company was founded in Kenosha in the 1870s, approximately 150 years ago.
The council also approved a pair of TIF agreements with TI Janesville X for two commercial spaces in the 200 block of Innovation Drive, on land currently owned by the city. One of the agreements covers a 500,000 square foot facility, matching the size of the proposed Serta facility. It stipulates that the development must be completed by the end of next year and the incentives, which are to last for nine years, are based on the estimated value of the completed project. The estimate, which was based on a property value of $19.5 million, provided an incentive of $170,239 per year that will not exceed a set amount of just over $1.5 million.
A second deal with the same developer for the same strip of land was also approved on Monday evening. The facility cited in this arrangement is expected to be 286,000 square feet in size and comes with its own incentives. Although it is on the same plot of land, the size of the property does not match the new facility planned by Serta.
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