A manufacturing company that makes refrigeration and freezing units for grocery stores and convenience stores is expanding its business to Dyersville.
Zero Zone plans to move into a speculative building at 2336 Industrial Parkway SW.
The company is located in North Prairie, Wis., and has additional locations in Waukesha, Wis., and Ramsey, Minn.
Before becoming official, approvals for the company’s application must come from the City of Dyersville and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Dyersville city council members unanimously approved a resolution approving the state incentive application at their Sept. 7 meeting. In addition to the support, the resolution agrees to match at least 20% of the state incentives that would go toward the project, according to city documents. The facility is expected to have a capital investment of over $2 million.
The city’s match comes from an agreement already in place between the city and the property developer of the speculative building, Advance Properties. It states that a portion of the tax rebate on the new valuation of the building will go toward the project for 15 years.
Rick Steer, vice president and general manager of the Zero Zone systems division, told the council the company hopes to employ more than 50 people in Dyersville. He said Zero Zone currently has a total of about 500 employees at the other locations.
“This is a big deal for Zero Zone,” Steer said. “We have the business. We just need to develop the plant and train the employees and get it up to speed.” He said the company hopes to be in the new facility in late January or early February.
The Zero Zone application will now be considered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority Sept. 17 for state funding incentives.
Jacque Rahe, executive director of the Dyersville Economic Development Corporation, said local officials have been working with Zero Zone since May about the possibility of coming to Dyersville.
“We are thrilled that they ended up choosing Dyersville,” Rahe said. “They had four different locations in three states, so we feel great they chose us.”
Rahe said the 52,500-square-foot building in the industrial park was one reason the company chose Dyersville. “I think the location right on Highway 20 with ease of moving goods back and forth was one thing. Another was the developer building a fabulous facility with precast walls with a lot of efficiencies built into them. Zero Zone caught it at a very good time. They could see the progress and see it could be done by their timeline, but also allow for some customization that they needed.”
Rahe said she is confident Zero Zone will be able to attract the needed workforce.
“I think like everybody else, the workforce is strained in the area. But it’s wonderful to have some tools and a great team willing to work with the company very closely in seeing there is an available pool of candidates.”
She said the company will work closely with Northeast Iowa Community College and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College to provide programming to train students.
“I also think there is a wonderful culture at the company like there is with all of our companies in the region. It’s a great culture and emphasizes a great quality of life for employees. That will play into their ability to attract a quality workforce. They have been great people to work with. We have had a great working relationship with them since we’ve started.”