Crystal Group expects 2018 completion for expansion

State approves providing incentives for the project Friday

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Crystal Group’s expansion should be complete in the second half of 2018, the Hiawatha-based company said Friday.

The designer and manufacturer, which makes rugged computer systems, plans to move from its current location to a larger space.

Crystal Group leadership said the expansion is necessary due to recent “tremendous growth” among defense and industrial clients and in an emerging autonomous market.

“This expansion underscores our commitment to that growth in Hiawatha with adequate space, staffing and funding to accommodate rapid progress and an expanding customer base,” President Scott Kongable said in a statement.

The company has two buildings totaling 58,000 square feet in Hiawatha along Kacena Road. It has 165 employees at the location, according to the statement.

It will construct a new 111,500-square-foot office and manufacturing space at 855 Metzger Dr., directly behind its current structure.

On Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority approved providing Crystal Group with a $100,000 forgivable loan and $513,750 in tax refunds and credits. The company has to create 45 jobs, 20 of which have to pay at least $24.70 an hour.

The city of Hiawatha will provide a tax increment financing rebate of about $1.7 million over five years.

In total, the project is expected to cost about $20.9 million, including costs for construction, machinery and research and development, according to state documents.

Crystal Group will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Monday and construction is scheduled to start in May.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board also approved incentives for four other Eastern Iowa projects Friday:

— Camso Manufacturing USA in Peosta — Camso plans to move to a new 240,000-square-foot building and purchase new equipment. The project is estimated to cost $6.4 million and the authority awarded a $30,400 forgivable loan and $191,172 in tax credits. It has to create 40 jobs.

Camso manufactures off-road tires and wheels for construction, agricultural and powersports customers.

— Orbis Corp. in Monticello — Orbis plans to construct a 100,000-square-foot addition to its current manufacturing plant to consolidate warehousing from across the Midwest to one location. The expansion is expected to cost $4.7 million and the authority awarded $225,000 in tax credits and refunds. It is required to create two jobs.

The company provides reusable plastic containers, pallets and other bulk containers.

— ContiTech USA in Mount Pleasant — ContiTech will add 36,000 square feet to its current location. The project is expected to cost $11.1 million and the authority awarded $325,000 in loans and $500,000 in tax credits and refunds. It has to create 41 jobs.

ContiTech makes air spring systems, coated fabrics and other products.

— Lomont Molding in Mount Pleasant — Lomont, a plastic molding company, will add more warehouse space next to its current manufacturing plant. The project is expected to cost about $2.7 million and the authority awarded $84,450 in tax credits and refunds. It has to create 2 jobs.

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Crystal Group's expansion

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