Royle Printing will expand by constructing a new warehouse and production facility in the Sun Prairie Business Park under the terms of an agreement approved Tuesday, Aug. 2 by the Sun Prairie City Council.
The new 40,000 sq. ft. facility, expected to be completed by next July, will be used for warehousing with the potential for additional expansion of production.
The agreement essentially
gives Royle the 12.11 acre parcel located between Columbus Street and Success Way for $1 if the company hits certain benchmarks in the agreement, according to Sun Prairie Director of Economic Development Neil Stechschulte.
The estimated initial construction value of the 40,000 sq. ft. facility will be $2.1 million along with $7.5 million in furniture, fixtures and equipment.
But if Royle maintains 210 full-time and 25 part-time positions at its two Sun Prairie facilities, expands the new facility by 20,000 sq. ft. and makes other site improvements by 2027, it will receive the land for $1.
If Royle fails to maintain that level of full-time employment, the company will pay the city $1,000 per position it falls under the 210 mark.
In the agreement, Royle offered $250,000 for the parcel.
Failure to meet all the requirements in the agreement could result in the city retaking the property because the $250,000 offer is structured as a mortgage on the property.
But because of a successful Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District 7, the tax value of the district allows the city to offer incentives for the company to locate on the parcels and have room to expand.
Former mayor and current District 2 Alderman Jon Freund pointed out the idea was to encourage a Sun Prairie company to expand, which is why the agreement was structured favorably to encourage Royle to expand on the Sun Prairie Business Park parcel.
“Royle has been in the community since 1948, and we’re delighted to continue our growth in Sun Prairie,” remarked Royle president and chief executive officer Chris Carpenter. “The city has been very helpful and cooperative, providing us with some incentives to help with the construction of a new, offsite warehouse in the industrial park.”
Royle already has a facility located at 745 S. Bird St., where it has printing and warehousing facilities. The company has an extensive history in the city — beginning first downtown, then expanding to South Bird before selling its sheet fed and publishing divisions in the 1990s and consolidating operations at the South Bird plant.
More demand for printed products resulted in a heat-set web press merger with W.D. Hoard and Sons Company (parent company of Hometown News LP which owns The Star) announced last September became final last December.
The merger allowed Royle to expand its 200 employees by at least 10 percent.
In May 2015, Royle announced a $6 million investment that Carpenter said includes a new Goss Sunday 2000 web press that utilizes the latest technical advancements available in the industry.
The new press provided Royle with a number of key production enhancements and helped the company fulfill its commitment to the environment, minimizing waste and energy consumption.
The company also recently added a new, late-model Polywrapper for assembly and labeling.
Royle has a national customer base that includes Wisconsin-based companies such as Lands End, In Business magazine, Nasco, and Standard Process, Inc., among others.
Carpenter explained the reasons behind adding the new location in the Sun Prairie Business Park.
“The new facility will serve as a warehouse for paper and finished goods, with the possibility of adding some light manufacturing in the coming months or year,” Carpenter said.
“This will allow us to convert space at our primary location at 745 S. Bird St. into manufacturing,” Carpenter said.
“We recently added a new $6 million press line and are in the process of installing a new perfect binding system,” Carpenter added. “Both of these assets will be crucial for our growth, while also requiring considerable floor space for installation and product staging. The investments in equipment and our facilities will also create a strong need for additional associates. We plan on hiring 10 to 20 skilled workers this summer or fall, and will be holding a career fair Aug. 17-18.”
Royle has been recognized as a Best Workplace in America by the Printing Industries of America trade association for 12 of the past 15 years.
“We hope to break ground in September, with the structure being erected by Dec. 15,” Carpenter said.
The agreement with the City of Sun Prairie requires Royle to take occupancy of the new facility by July 1, 2017, but Carpenter said the company is aiming to occupy the facility during the first quarter of 2017.