(Portage, IN) – A nearly 400,000 sq. ft. facility developed by Holladay Properties will soon be home to the US headquarters of Fronius USA, one of the world’s leading developers and manufacturer’s of battery charging systems, welding technology and solar electronics.
In a ceremony on June 23, 2011, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Portage Mayor Olga Velazquez, various Northwest Indiana dignitaries and representatives, and Fronius executives and employees met at the facility, the Randolph Building at 1575 Louis Sullivan Drive in AmeriPlex at the Port to make the announcement.
“We searched for the right location, the right state and chose Indiana. We decided to go close to an international airport. They had this building available,” said Wolfgang Niedrist, Managing Director for US sales of Fronius.
Holladay Properties developed the 399,500 sq. ft. Randolph Building in 2008 as a speculative industrial building. Construction was completed by Holladay Construction Group in 2009 and the building has been vacant ever since. Fronius chose the Randolph Building over another existing building in Munster.
“The company would have been a key anchor for the Lake Business Center. We felt like we were a second choice. A newer building makes sense for them, so it’s not a surprise that they would move to AmeriPlex in Portage,” Tom DeGiulio, Munster town manager said.
The new facility will be the company’s first American factory to make solar converters and is the “biggest investment by the company outside of Austria,” according to Thomas Herndler, head of manufacturing for Fronius USA. “We’re excited to be able to introduce more of the US especially to Fronius’ forward-thinking people, quality products and superior service which have helped our position as a global leader in all three areas of our operations,” said Herndler.
Fronius plans to employ 100 people at the site when interior renovations have been complete in the third quarter of 2012 and estimates that the new facility will employ nearly 500 people by the end of 2016. Some employees will transfer from the company’s current Michigan-based location, which will remain as a sales office.
“This is the kind of company we have tried to rebuild the Indiana economy to attract. The whole state will be proud of what happens here,” said Daniels. The Governor also mentioned that state and local officials began discussions with Fronius about nine months ago. Several state and local economic incentives were also offered to attract Fronius to Portage, including an existing 10-year tax abatement on the building.