Business

Crystal Group proposes $21 million expansion

Hiawatha company expects to add 45 new jobs in the next two years

Aluminum computer fronts to be powder-coated and used in rugged computers, seen at Crystal Group in Hiawatha on Tuesday, April 16, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Aluminum computer fronts to be powder-coated and used in rugged computers, seen at Crystal Group in Hiawatha on Tuesday, April 16, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

A Hiawatha-based maker of rugged computers has proposed a $21 million expansion that would see the company move to a new location in the city.

The Hiawatha City Council will review a request from Crystal Group Wednesday asking for the city to sponsor an application for state incentives tied to the expansion.

Crystal Group’s proposed expansion would include moving to a new office and manufacturing space of about 105,500 square feet, according to city council documents. The company, which employs 155 people, also would add 45 new jobs during the next two years.

Crystal Group's new location

Crystal Group has requested both city and state incentives to help fund the expansion. Following the city council’s review Wednesday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority is expected to review the state request Friday.

Combined, the state and city would provide Crystal Group with more than $2.2 million during a five-year period, city documents show. Hiawatha’s portion would come in the form of tax rebates of no more than $342,000 a year for five years.

Approval of the local funding would come at a later meeting.

The expansion would see Crystal Group move from its current location at 850 Kacena Rd. to 855 Metzger Dr.

The company’s roots date back to 1987 and its computers have been used by military, government and industrial clients, according to its website.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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