This is How Windsor Windows & Doors Committed to Growing in DSM USA
Growth Leads to Expansion Opportunity
Beginning in 2016, Windsor Windows & Doors started looking for ways and locations to expand their growing business operation in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The company has been in operation since 1940, is headquartered in West Des Moines, and recently became land-locked in their current location. At their headquarters, the company manufactures high quality wood and vinyl windows and doors for residential and commercial structures. Both the doors and windows divisions needed more room in their current production buildings. Windsor looked at properties all over the state of Iowa as well as other states for properties that could meet their needs. They worked with the City of West Des Moines on potential opportunities to build near their existing plant, but the available land did not meet their expansion needs. Finally, through the marketing efforts of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), the City of Norwalk and the listing agents, the company became aware of a ‘State Certified Site’ available in nearby Norwalk.
After many months of site research, meetings, negotiations and project analysis, a development agreement was signed. Windsor purchased 27 acres of the 60-acre certified site on Highway 28 in Norwalk. Multiple agencies and entities from around the state came together to make this project a reality. It was important to IEDA and The Partnership that the company expand and stay in Iowa versus move to another state, which was a competitive option. The Windsor management team made it clear, however, that they absolutely wanted to stay in Iowa. Not only for the sake of their existing employees, but also because Iowa is a such a great place to do business and the growing DSM metro area was a prime location for their product lines.
Incentives Aid Expansion
The City of Norwalk formulated an incentives package to help offset the cost of startup and construction for the company. The package included a 100 percent, three-year upfront TIF grant of up to $750,000, a high quality jobs grant for qualifying positions up to $75,000, and a $189,000 gap-coverage grant to the land sellers which helped level out the cost of land for the company. The City also worked with Warren County Economic Development to secure a $50,000 business grant that was awarded at the groundbreaking ceremony. The State of Iowa provided approximately $550,000 in tax credits and tax refund through their high-quality jobs and industry programs. The City is investing $3 million in infrastructure to serve the certified site which still has 33 acres available for additional industrial development.
The Iowa Department of Transportation awarded the City of Norwalk over $800,000 in a RISE grant to help fund the paving of Delaware Street which serves the entire certified site. Windsor Windows is now building a 160,000-square-foot clean manufacturing facility with room to expand in the future. The Windsor project is investing over $11 million into the local economy and will employ 130 full time staff within the first three years of operation.
A highly attended groundbreaking ceremony was held in June of 2017. Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg spoke about the importance of keeping our local companies in Iowa and supporting them as they grow and expand. In less than nine months, the project went from initial negotiations to physical dirt work and construction. The facility will be completed by spring of 2018 and all infrastructure completed prior.
The infrastructure and other investments made into this project and the certified site opens over 250 acres of developable industrial ground. Since the development agreement was signed with the City and Windsor Windows, over 10 large industrial companies have shown interest in locating in Norwalk, especially near the certified site and newly expanding industrial park. The City, State, and regional partners were able to formulate an incentives package that helped the company meet their budget and time constraints, while still showing a return on investment for the City and taxpayers in less than seven years. This expansion project was a win-win for the company, DSM, the City of Norwalk and the State of Iowa.