It would take a whole lot of Legos to build the sizable new facility planned for Meadowville Technology Park’s newest high-profile tenant.
The Lego Group, the global toymaker known for its brick building kits, plans to invest $1 billion to build a U.S. manufacturing facility at Chesterfield Industrial Park, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Wednesday morning during an event at the Science Museum of Virginia.
The 1.7 million square foot facility is expected to create more than 1,760 jobs over time. Lego plans to break ground on the project this year and complete construction in 2025, the same year production is set to begin at the factory.
The Chesterfield facility, which will produce Lego bricks and package kits, will be Lego’s seventh factory worldwide and second in North America. The other is in Mexico.
The company’s investment in the Chesterfield facility is planned for a period of 10 years. The Lego Meadowville site will also have an on-premises solar energy farm that is planned to handle the energy needed to run the factory.
According to a press release, the Chesterfield plant will work toward its stated employment goal over a 10-year period. The company plans to hire 500 of the employees to operate a temporary packaging facility that is scheduled to open in early 2024.
Chesterfield officials said they had not been told who they were going up against for the project and that the project had been in the works for about seven months. Chesterfield’s director of economic development, Garrett Hart, said that Meadowville’s existing infrastructure and available land had made Chesterfield competitive in the process.
“It’s important to have websites that are ready to go. These guys were just looking for people to start this year, and Meadowville has water and sewage and roads in place,” Hart said.
The Lego plant will occupy a 340-acre site in Meadowville that the company has under contract. The site is located at the north end of the park just east of Interstate 295 and is currently owned by the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority.
The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the summer. Both Lego and Chesterfield declined to share the amount the company expects to pay for the land.
The assemblage consists of multiple lots with a combined value of at least $22 million, according to Chesterfield’s online records. Some lots span the southern boundary of the future Lego lot on Meadowville Road, making it unclear the exact estimated value of the lot the company intends to purchase.
Lego was attracted to Virginia by factors such as its workforce and transportation infrastructure, President and CEO Niels Christiansen said in remarks during the event. He said growing demand for Lego kits has motivated interest in increasing the company’s manufacturing capabilities.
In addition to Youngkin and Christiansen, Caren Merrick, Virginia Secretary of Commerce, Chris Winslow, Chesterfield Board Chairman, Denmark’s Ambassador to the United States, Lone Dencker Wisborg, and Lego COO Carsten Rasmussen also spoke.
Based in Denmark, the company has approximately 2,600 US employees and US operations are headquartered in Connecticut. The company operates 100 Lego Stores across the United States.
Chesterfield worked with the Greater Richmond Partnership, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the General Assembly’s Approval Commission for Large Jobs and Investment Projects to land the project, according to a release from the county’s economic development department. Lego is eligible for a $56 million performance grant from the MEI.
Lego spokesmen did not respond to a query about who the project’s architect and general contractor will be.