Friday, March 03, 2006

130 more jobs likely coming to Grand Forks

LM Glasfiber, the Danish manufacturer of wind turbines with a factory located right here in Grand Forks, is working on a deal to bring 130 more jobs to their local workforce. The company wants to expand into unused space in the Amazon.com building in the industrial park. You might remember that Amazon rearranged their local operations a while back by closing down their distribution center and expanding their call center (the changes resulted in a net increase of jobs). Amazon doesn't need so much empty space anymore and LM Glasfiber would like to takeover that unused space. Thus, LM Glasfiber wants to operate out of their existing facility and expand into the nearby Amazon building. A deal is being worked out with the city (which owns the Amazon building). The average starting wage at LM Glasfiber is $12...not amazing, but not shabby either. Great to see more employment opportunities opening up!

18 comments:

JGS said...

Awesome! I hope this gets approved and they get things moved into the new building. Sounds like they have a great business going here in Grand Forks, hope they continue this trend. Bravo to LM Glasfiber!

GrandForksGuy said...

There is also talk of LM Glasfiber taking over the entire Amazon building if it "became available". It makes me wonder if LM Glasfiber knows something about Amazon that we don't. The only way the Amazon building would "become available" would be if the company left Grand Forks (unlikely, in my opinion, because of the fact that the local workforce has only grown in the last couple of years) or if the company was thinking about building a new (larger?) facility in Grand Forks. Who knows...maybe I'm reading too much into "become available" phrase.

Anonymous said...

The part of the facility that "became available" is the warehouse space in the Amazon building. Amazon still occupies the office space in the facility w/ their customer service reps. By moving in LM to share the building, it allows Amazon to get out of the lease for space they no longer need, and LM is already located on an adjacent property so it is a convenient location for them as well. It is a win for both companies.

Both buildings are owned by the city. It's not unreasonable for the city to invest to help out LM, but it is even more likely because the city owns the facility getting the improvements in the first place. So, the city wins by retaining two good tenants and helping out two local employers (and lease payers) at the same time.

GrandForksGuy said...

Anonymous, when I talked about a portion of the Amazon building "becoming available", I wasn't referring to the wharehouse space. I'm fully aware that the wharehouse is empty and that is the portion that LM Glasfiber is currently negotiating over. The portion of the building that I'm talking about is the office space (the call center). LM Glasfiber would like to get first dibs on that space if it "became available".

JGS said...

I still am curious what was the deal with some Amazon building not even being used somewhere on 32nd? What happened with that?
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ben said...

JGS,
It isn't a building on 32nd, but land that the city bought back in like 2000 in an attempt to attcract Amazon to build a large-scale distrobution center in the city. The deal never happened, and the city looked REALLY bad for spending a few million on the land and prep.

JGS said...

Oh ok, that clears it up now.

Still Anonymous said...

I believe the downtown civic center/armory will be the new home to Amazon - maybe it's just a rumor??

JGS said...

Sounds like a rumor to me. Thats way to small to hold Amazon.com unless the demolish the entire thing and make it a small sky scraper. But I don't see why they would move to downtown when they already have a place in the Industrial Park. Sounds interesting though.

UND Student said...

I love this blog... community gossip is the best! Also, great news about the expansion! Plus, wind turbines are grrrreat!

GrandForksGuy said...

I love this blog too! Oh wait...it's my blog. Of course I love it! :)

Yeah, it's great to hear about more expansion and I like the fact that Grand Forks is home to a factory that produces wind turbines...ecofriendly and a growth industry.

Anonymous said...

Considering the fact that wind turbines are manufactured locally (or at least the blades) and it's windier than heck here, why haven't we embraced this technology?

Anonymous said...

The former Civic downtown, is certainly NOT too small for a call center type operation of Amazon. I'd say they could fit 50-75 employees (if not more) in the main open area alone. There is a large amount of floor space in that building.

Another option for amazon is in the 2nd corporate center space formerly occupied by noridian. Since the 2nd-3rd floors are perfect, obviously, they were outfitted for the similar work style of Noridian.

Why haven't we embraced wind technology?? Haha, if we are going to get in to that one, we'd need a separate thread.

JGS said...

You're right Anonymous. I thought it was smaller, but I guess I took a look again and looks big enough. But why in the world would Amazon want to move into there? The outside look is terrible, ugly and certainly outdated. They would have to demolish it and rebuild on it in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Amazon would need a building/space that houses 400 cubicles, plus larger training rooms, conference rooms, offices, etc. I doubt the civic center would work.

Anonymous said...

The 400 cubicles might be pushing it a little, but there is definitely room in there for many meeting rooms, offices, conference rooms, larger training rooms, etc... the building is 30,000 sq ft on each floor, and the basement was remodeled after the flood. Aside from the two huge open spaces on each floor, there are probably upwards of 15-20 other rooms ranging from 500-2500 sq ft. The building is 30,000 sq feet on each floor.

Anyway, that said, I am in no way suggesting that Amazon will move in there. I have no idea what they need, but there is a lot more in the old civic than a lot of people realize. The only way I see amazon even considering it would be if the city cut them an unbelieveable deal -- to get the civic used and to free up the other space for someone who needs dual office/manufacturing.

The city has been using the civic for hazmat equipment storage, so maybe they are not even itching to get it rented anymore.

Ben said...

Yeah, there is a lot of fire and police storage in the Civic. However, I think if the city could sell it they would be glad to, with other plans for fire and police facilities in the industrial park. (a joint training facility)
Plus, the civic would feel really cheap to the execs at Amazon. However, I really doubt that they are moving in there, but the place most likely has the room, but future expansion might be the problem. I would love to see Amazon and thier many jobs move downtown, though...any addition of people moving down there every day would be great.

still anonymous said...

If the lower level of the Civic was redone after the flood, the city got screwed.
(or one of the council person's buddys did the work :-) )

I was all over that building when it was the temporary courthouse last year and the
building needs a ton of work. The heating system leaks and leaves water on the
floor in some rooms. I believe the roof needs over a million dollars of repair as well.