Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today broke ground on an expansion of the Company’s Product Development Center near Wyoming, Minn. Since opening in 2005, the 126,000 square foot research and development facility has been pivotal in Polaris’ ascent to the top of the global powersports market.
“Opening the Wyoming facility seven years ago reinforced Polaris’ dedication to leading through innovation,” said Scott Wine, Polaris CEO. “Continuously improving our technology, and incorporating those advances into our vehicles, is the cornerstone of our success, and expanding our Product Development Center paves the way for its future contributions.”
Wine, along with other Polaris executives and political and civic leaders, took center stage at the groundbreaking ceremony earlier today, driving shovels into the ground in a ceremonial start to the construction project. The event also was attended by Polaris employees and notable Minnesotan politicians and business leaders, including U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Congressman Chip Cravaack and Commissioner Mark Phillips of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
“We are thankful for our continued partnership with Polaris, and excited that they chose to expand operations here in Minnesota,” DEED Commissioner Phillips said. “This investment is an important boost to the local economy and will help maintain Polaris’ place as an industry leader and innovator.”
GREATER MSP, the region’s economic development partnership, coordinated the involvement of Polaris, Chisago County, the City of Wyoming, and DEED, to compile a package of financial incentives to help Polaris expand. A combination of job training support, infrastructure improvements, R & D credits, JOBZ financing and other incentives provided a unique opportunity for Polaris’ project.
The expansion of the Wyoming facility will add 144,000 square feet to the existing building, more than doubling its size. This new space will provide large work bays for off-road vehicles, flexible conference and display space, a new electrical lab, and a new EMI room. The extra space will also allow expansion of the café and kitchen and add a new parking lot for additional employees. The construction effort will be led by Ryan Companies, US, the same firm that led construction on the original building in 2005.
“We were excited when Polaris chose Ryan to construct its Product Development Center in 2005, and we’re feeling that excitement again as we partner with Polaris to expand the facility,” said Pat Ryan, CEO and president, Ryan Companies, US, Inc. “Ryan is similar to Polaris in many ways, from our values to our rich history and Minnesota roots. It’s our privilege to partner with another great company on a project like this. We look forward to getting started.”
The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013.