Negri Bossi North America is ditching its previously announced plans to construct a 36,000-square-foot building in Plymouth Township, Mich., for its new North American headquarters in favor of moving into a leased building in neighboring Canton, Mich.
The Italian injection molding machinery maker, a subsidiary of Milan-based Negri Bossi SpA, said in June 2017 that it was investing more than $4 million in the Plymouth Township facility, which would have been more than double the size of its original headquarters in New Castle, Del.
Further architectural inspection of the Plymouth Township facility, however, found that the site required "an overly expensive amount of work to be done to the foundations," CEO Craig Ward said in an email before NPE2018. The site was below water level and would need to be significantly raised, he explained.
In the meantime, the Canton building became available, coinciding with the company's plans to move in quickly. Canton is located about 30 miles west of Detroit.
"When we originally started looking, occupancy rates were high and there was nothing suitable, so this change suits our original remit better," Ward said. "The investment remains very significant as it is basically a shell that we are renting, and we are installing all the internals, including the cranes. In the end, the decision was more about time than anything else."
The Canton facility is approximately the same size — 31,783 square feet — as the building in Plymouth Township would have been and still larger than the present New Castle facility.
Sitework at the Canton facility is nearly complete, and "walls are going up," Ward said. The company expects to relocate to the new headquarters in August this year. The New Castle facility, which is also leased, will be returned to the landlord, he said.
Some parts of the plan have roughly remained the same, including 6,000 square feet dedicated to office space, a training area and a 30-seat classroom, and more than 25,000 square feet for a warehouse and showroom.
Italian blow molding machinery maker Magic MP SpA will still be a subtenant, and the facility will also have Italian robot maker Sytrama srl represented on-site.
"The demonstration area is in response to our customers' interest in seeing our machines in actual operation as part of the sales experience and will be essential to providing hands-on training for customer machine operators," Ward said.
"The classroom will be another important customer training facility, and we will expand on this use by reaching out to the community of molders, hopefully in partnership with area technical schools for training and instruction, which will be relevant to the industry," he said.
At the time of Negri Bossi's June 2017 announcement regarding former plans for the Plymouth Twp. facility, the company said it was in talks with a local vocational technical school, where students could potentially use the new headquarters for machinery demonstrations and training.
Ward said Negri Bossi is "still committed to making this a reality," but details have not yet been confirmed.
"We have been focused on revising our plan from building to renting," Ward said. "Negri Bossi at the parent level and within its subsidiaries has an excellent reputation for the service it provides. Each year, we have an intake of young people who generally take three years or more before moving into areas of the business. It is our intention to repeat this initiative in the U.S."