Lego plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next decade to build a factory near Richmond, Virginia. The 1.7 million-square-foot factory, which is expected to open in 2025, will feature a carbon-neutral design and will employ more than 1,760 people, Virginia officials said Wednesday.
The Danish toy manufacturer, a family-owned company founded in 1932 in Denmark, closed its first U.S. factory in northern Connecticut in 2006 and moved the production to Mexico. As part of the company’s latest investment, Lego said it will also expand and upgrade its facility in Monterrey, Mexico.
“The LEGO Group’s decision to establish its U.S. manufacturing plant in Virginia shines a global spotlight on the advantages that make the Commonwealth the best business location in the nation, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with this iconic company,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a statement.
Lego officials said the new factory is part of a larger strategic plan to strengthen the company’s supply chain. The company already has major manufacturing hubs in China, Czech Republic and Hungary as well as another factory under construction in Vietnam.
The Virginia facility will be Lego’s seventh factory globally and the second in the Americas. The facility will mold, process and pack Lego products and ensure they meet the company’s safety and quality requirements. It will be located in a publicly owned industrial park in Chesterfield County.
Carbon neutral ambitions
Lego officials pledged to power the Virginia factory with renewable energy generated from an onsite solar park.
“We were impressed with all that Virginia has to offer, from access to a skilled workforce, support for high-quality manufacturers, and great transport links,” Lego CEO Niels Christiansen said in a statement. “We appreciate support for our ambition to build a carbon-neutral run facility and construct a solar park and are looking forward to building a great team.”
Lego will be eligible for taxpayer-funded incentives, including a performance-based grant of $56 million and site development improvements worth up to $19 million subject to legislative approval.
Construction is expected to start this fall and a temporary packaging site will open in an existing building nearby in early 2024, creating up to 500 jobs.