Imperial Brown Creates Jobs in Tucson with New Manufacturing Plant

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Imperial Brown, a leading manufacturer of custom cold rooms and freezers, will open a manufacturing facility in Tucson, Ariz. In 2023.

Tucson will be the company’s fourth plant, with additional facilities in Portland, OR, Salisbury, North Carolina and Prague, OK. Imperial Brown works with Harsch Investment Properties, a real estate development and investment firm, based in Portland, OR but with significant interests in Tucson. Together, the companies are constructing a 99,000 square foot freestanding building at the corner of E. Medina Road and Brosius Avenue. Construction of the state-of-the-art facility is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022. Imperial Brown has already transferred staff to the Tucson area, to help with the pre-construction and construction phases. When complete, the company plans to hire approximately 100 employee-owners at the new Tucson Airport distribution center location. The economic impact of the new operation will be $ 225 million over the next 10 years.


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“Tucson was selected after a year-long survey of potential locations in the Southwest. It has beaten other cities in Arizona, due to its balanced mix of climate, demographics, cost of living, and population density. The Tucson plant will focus on bringing IB’s quality products and unmatched levels of service to the underserved Southwest region, ”said Justin Sandall, President of Imperial Brown. “With the addition of the Tucson plant to complement its existing plants, IB will now have 2/3 of the US population within 500 miles of its plants. With rising transportation costs and a very large product, this level of distributed manufacturing is a strategic advantage for the company’s customers, many of whom have a national footprint and very significant growth plans.

Imperial Brown has grown steadily since the OR and NC manufacturing facilities merged nine years ago. In 2012, Imperial Manufacturing of Portland, OR, acquired WA Brown & Son of Salisbury, NC, and merged the two companies into Imperial Brown. With the merger, IB developed the industry’s first and only hybrid construction technology – blending methods used on both coasts, to achieve the best of both worlds for its customers. Subsequently, the company bought Artic Temp in Prague, OK, and also moved into a new factory in Gresham, OR – which more than doubled the size of that factory. It added and replaced technology and equipment across all facilities, reducing manufacturing footprint and redundancy, leveraging technology to increase efficiency and improve product flow. The result has been staggering growth in market share – not least being one of the very few manufacturers to expand at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

“We are honored to be part of the Tucson business community,” said Jordan Schnitzer, president of Harsch Investment Properties. “As a family business, we have the unique advantage of being able to buy and expand in communities like Tucson to help create new businesses and employment opportunities in the area, one project at a time. “

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Imperial Brown and its new Tucson facility as the first custom built tenant in Arizona. We have been able to provide the company with a facility that meets the current and future demands of their business, ”said Bill Rodewald, senior vice president of Harsch Investment Properties. “The pre-lease of Building C during the pandemic shows the strength of the Tucson Airport distribution center’s Class A specifications, design and flexibility.”

The facility will be completed in January 2023 and will include 32 foot clear height, 72 to 90 foot deep truck lots with trailer storage, ESFR fire protection, 105 parking spaces, 24 dock positions and eight doors. level. VLMK Engineering + Design designed the building and Chasse Building Team was selected as general contractor.

“The economy of Tucson and southern Arizona continues to thrive, even in a pandemic environment,” said Joe Snell, President and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc. “We are delighted to be selected again. as a prime location for an established and growing well-maker.

The Tucson Airport Distribution Center development site is located in the city of Tucson, in close proximity to I-10, I-19, and Tucson International Airport.

“We are very pleased to welcome Imperial Brown to the City of Tucson,” said Mayor Regina Romero of the City of Tucson. “We value adding manufacturing jobs to our community and appreciate the investment Imperial Brown and Harsch are making in Tucson. “

“Fostering and supporting manufacturing jobs is a key growth strategy for our region,” said Chuck Huckelberry, Pima County Administrator. “We wish Imperial Brown success and stand ready to provide any assistance they may need to fill these new positions. ”

“We are delighted that Imperial Brown has chosen Tucson to build its state-of-the-art cold room and freezer manufacturing facility,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Arizona’s low cost of operations, modern infrastructure and highly skilled workforce provide an ideal environment for manufacturing facilities like this one. We look forward to supporting Imperial Brown’s success in the future.

Project partners include Sun Corridor Inc., Pima County, City of Tucson, Arizona Commerce Authority, Harsch Investment Properties, and the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona.

Harsch was represented by Jesse Blum and Alex Demeroutis of Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR. Imperial Brown was represented by Stuart Skaug (Portland) and Tim Healy (Tucson) of CBRE.


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