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With construction equipment rumbling in the background, Cedar Rapids government leaders and economic development officials gathered Wednesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Sub-Zero appliance factory in southwest Cedar Rapids. Site work is already underway for the $140 million, 614,000-square-foot facility at 10015 Sixth Street SW, the city’s most rapidly expanding industrial development quadrant, which has recently seen new developments by Worley Warehousing, Lil’ Drug Store Products, Alro Steel and BAE Systems, among others. The new facility is expected to open in August 2025 and create an estimated 200 new jobs, mostly high-quality positions in the manufacturing sector. Sub-Zero manufactures refrigerators and other appliances for home and commercial use under the Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove brands. Leaders from both the Cedar Rapids area and Sub-Zero were quick to celebrate the company’s choosing to locate in Cedar Rapids, citing strong economic incentives and a favorable support system from local businesses for swaying Sub-Zero officials’ decision. “One of the (tenets) we kept coming back to is, if we were doing this job, if we were running this plant and we were working in a factory, where would we want to live?” Scott Wareing, senior vice president of operations and design for Sub-Zero, said about the company’s decision. “Cedar Rapids was easily the first choice. We're here because of the manufacturing base and capability and talent. We're here because it's a great place to be and live and work. And we're here because of the partnerships that you all put together to talk to us and help us make this decision.” The Sub-Zero project qualifies for a 20-year, 75% tax exemption from the city, as well as local tax abatements subject to maintaining minimum employment thresholds. The Iowa Economic Development Authority also approved $3.7 million in financial incentives for the project in June 2022, including $2.6 million in tax credits and a $1.1 million loan that the state will forgive if Sub-Zero fulfills its employment promises within seven years. Cedar Rapids was one of an estimated 900 cities initially vying for the new Sub-Zero facility, Mr. Wareing said. The field was winnowed down to 17 cities, from which nine cities were chosen for in-person visits by Sub-Zero leaders. The final choice, he said, came down to Cedar Rapids and “a city in another state, which shall not be named.” On their final visit, company representatives met with “about 10” leaders of local companies for frank, open discussions about the local business environment, Mr. Wareing said. “The dialogue was incredible – the openness, the candor, the interest in helping,” he said. “We asked several of them, ‘why do you even have an interest in helping us, because we might hire people that you're going to compete for?’ The answer was, ‘we help each other. That's what we're about.’ There was a definite interest in helping each other. We saw it from every one of them. It was overwhelming – the power and the strength of the manufacturing space, definitely for the state of Iowa, but specifically for the city of Cedar Rapids.” Other speakers at the event included Cedar Rapids city manager Jeff Pomeranz; Ron Corbett, vice president of economic development for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance; Cedar Rapids mayor pro tem Ann Poe; and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Finance Authority. Sub-Zero, headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, has facilities in Madison and Fitchburg, Wisconsin, and Goodyear and Phoenix, Arizona. The Cedar Rapids location represents the company’s first new facility in several decades, Mr. Wareing said. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.