Life Fitness, Rosemont, Illinois, capped off a 150,000-square-foot expansion project at its Owatonna, Minnesota-based Cybex facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Thursday. The event was attended by Life Fitness employees and Owatonna community leaders.
Since breaking ground in June, the $22.85 million project has expanded the facility’s footprint to 490,000 square feet. This growth “dramatically increases the facility’s overall manufacturing capacity to support the continued growth of the fitness industry,” according to a media release from Life Fitness.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the completed expansion to the Cybex facility in Owatonna,” Scott Darsow, vice president of global manufacturing, said in the statement. “This expansion is our second in Minnesota in two years, and we produce more products in the state than anywhere in the world. With this expansion, we’re underscoring our commitment to growing our global manufacturing footprint and to growth in the local community.”
The facility produces more than 200 commercial fitness products and, since the expansion, has added 100 new jobs to the Owatonna area. To coincide with the ribbon cutting, Life Fitness executives announced a $10,000 gift to the Owatonna Foundation, which promotes local welfare efforts.
The expansion was made possible through an Owatonna-approved tax-increment financing agreement, along with a job creation fund award and capital-investment rebate from the Minnesota state government.
“The city and state have been critical partners in supporting the expansion of the facility,” said John Champa, Cybex’s senior director of manufacturing operations. “We greatly appreciate their unwavering support and are looking forward to continuing our relationship of growth with the community.”
Life Fitness parent company Brunswick Corp. acquired Cybex in January 2016 for $195 million, anticipating the addition would help the company serve “the complete spectrum of the commercial fitness market.” In January, Brunswick reported its fitness sales grew by 24 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and by 23 percent for the full year.
Life Fitness completed a smaller but similar expansion project at its Ramsey, Minnesota, facility last March.