Flexsteel Dubuque

Flexsteel Industries in Dubuque

Iowa Economic Development Authority board members Friday morning approved incentives that will support construction of a new Flexsteel Industries manufacturing facility in Dubuque and the arrival of an Illinois company to the city.

Flexsteel last week announced plans to invest $28 million in a new facility along Seippel Road. Work on the plant is expected to begin later this year, with production shifting to the new site in late summer or fall 2018.

State board members on Friday signed off on $1 million in direct financial assistance for the project, as well as tax credits of just more than $1 million.

The awards are contingent on Flexsteel having at least 200 full-time permanent employees as of May 31, 2020, and maintaining that number through May 31, 2022, according to state documents. Kanan Kappelman, of the IEDA, noted that 30 of these jobs must pay a wage of at least $21.18 per hour.

The company now employs 218 workers at its facility at 3400 Jackson St. The direct financial assistance is contingent on the demolition of the Jackson Street facility and mitigation of environmental conditions by November 2019.

“Being able to assist in this project and provide incentives was a win-win in terms of keeping jobs in Dubuque as well as supporting the construction of a new facility,” Kappelman said.

Flexsteel Chief Financial Officer Tim Hall framed the IEDA vote as another positive step toward finalizing plans for a new facility.

“I am pleased they have shown support for these projects, and we appreciate that they consider this a worthy project for the state of Iowa,” Hall said. “But we still have two approvals left to go.”

Dubuque County supervisors will host a public hearing May 30 to consider selling a 22-acre parcel along Seippel Road to a Flexsteel-affiliated organization for $1.3 million. The parcel would serve as the future site for the new plant.

Dubuque City Council members, meanwhile, have set a public hearing for June 5 to consider approval of the development agreement with Flexsteel.

State officials on Friday also approved $45,000 in direct financial assistance and $79,300 in tax credits for Galena, Ill., software company Wave Reaction’s expansion to Dubuque. The company tracks and manages reusable containers used by manufacturers.

The company plans to purchase the Hartig Drug corporate building, 703 Main St., and start operating on the facility’s first floor this summer. Plans call for a $2 million investment in the facility and the hiring of 20 workers, according to company officials.

In order to qualify for the state assistance, Wave Reaction must add 20 jobs by May 31, 2020, and maintain them through May 31, 2022. Twelve of these jobs must pay $21.18 per hour or more.

Charles Daoud, director of sales for Wave Reaction, expressed gratitude for the state’s support.

“It means a lot to us to have this kind of support for the project,” he said. “It means more money that we can use to invest back in the business.”

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