STIHL has announced plans to invest $49 million to expand its chain saw guide bar manufacturing facility in Virginia Beach, Va. The expansion will add 26,000 square feet of space to an existing building, totaling 86,000 square feet upon completion. The project is also expected to create 15 new jobs with an average annual wage of $60,000 to $100,000.
“For nearly 50 years, the City of Virginia Beach has created an ideal environment for STIHL to continue to grow our business and offer meaningful careers to over 2,500 current employees in Hampton Roads,” said Terry Horan, president of STIHL Inc. “We are incredibly proud to be able to continue to expand our Virginia Beach-based manufacturing operations to fulfill the increased demands of our more than 10,000 loyal STIHL dealers nationwide and their customers.”
The Virginia Beach Development Authority (VBDA) voted to award STIHL an Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) grant of $500,000 for the expansion based on job creation and retention, plus capital investment estimated at $49 million. In addition to increasing its footprint in Virginia Beach, STIHL plans to invest in state-of-the-art equipment and add highly skilled positions to its team, including maintenance mechatronic technicians, process engineers, tool and die makers, project coordinators and machine operators.
“We are thrilled that STIHL, a valued member of our business community, continues to invest in Virginia Beach,” said Patrick Duhaney, Virginia Beach city manager. “Since 1974, STIHL has consistently expanded its local manufacturing operation and created new employment opportunities for the citizens of Virginia Beach. What started as a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility has grown into a 150-acre campus with two million square feet of combined industrial and office space in our city. We look forward to STIHL’s continued growth and our partnership with them.”
The new project will allow for a third chain saw guide bar production line to be added at 825 London Bridge Road, increasing production capacity. Currently, most chain saw guide bar production takes place at other STIHL locations overseas, but this expansion lays the groundwork for additional manufacturing activity to be moved to the company’s Virginia Beach location.
“This is an exciting announcement from one of the world’s most recognizable brands of handheld outdoor power equipment and another win for our city,” said Taylor Adams, deputy city manager and director for economic development for the City of Virginia Beach. “STIHL’s continued investment in Virginia Beach has benefited the community beyond job creation and capital investment. Over the years, through their commitment to our city, they have helped attract other businesses to locate here, further establishing Virginia Beach as a great location for those in the advanced manufacturing sector.”