Year In Review: Businesses and expansions dot the local landscape

WORTHINGTON -- It would seem business is good. The past year has brought in an array of business expansions and openings in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

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Prairie Holdings Group. (Tim Middagh/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON - It would seem business is good. The past year has brought in an array of business expansions and openings in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

Expansions began in March when the Worthington City Council approved an additional 15,732-square-foot building to be built in the Bio Science Park. The building would house Bioverse’s operations. By May, Bioverse broke ground on the property.
“Bioverse is going to be a good long-term company for Worthington,” Bioverse president and CEO Glenn Thuringer said in May. “It fits in well with the other innovative businesses here in town.”
Capital Armament
Formerly based in Minnesota, Capital Armament (Cap Arms), has set up shop in Osceola County Industrial Park in Sibley, Iowa. The veteran-owned and operated firearms and ammunition manufacturer broke ground on its 8,000-square-foot facility in April.
Mike Earll, Osceola County Economic Development Commission director, told the Osceola County Board of Supervisors in December 2014 that the company is guaranteeing four to six full-time job equivalences with a projected payroll of $260,000. In its second year, Cap Arms intends to add 11 additional jobs, bringing the payroll to $750,000. By year three, the company would need an additional 19 jobs and increase its payroll to more than $1.5 million.
Prairie Holdings Group also made changes in April. The company purchased an additional 97,574-square-foot parcel in the Bio Science Park. Since April, the building has been finished and expands PHG’s presence along U.S. 59.
July expansions
Three businesses chose July to begin expansion plans. Sailor Plastics of Adrian received approval from Nobles County Commissioners for a loan from federally-derived money in the county’s revolving loan fund. The new owners of the business chose to expand operations by purchasing new equipment.
“I started working out of my basement in 1990,” said Darlene Vortherms, owner and CEO of PurNet in July. “We started with one employee - me - and now have (27).”
PurNet moved from its Oxford Street location in July to a 10,000-square-foot building in Worthington’s Bio Science Park.
Bedford Industries also announced intentions to expand in July. Worthington’s Economic Development Authority accepted a proposal from Bedford to purchase a five-acre lot for $120,000.
“Bedford has continued to grow rapidly, both in sales and personnel,” Jay Milbrandt, assistant general manager and general counsel at Bedford Industries said in July. “We completed our last major expansion in 2011, and we are beginning our next round of construction projects.”
In the offer, Bedford said it expects to construct an Innovation Center that will create 40 to 50 new offices, conference facilities and laboratory spaces. The company is also slated to expand its Visitor Center and create additional space for its creative departments by 2017. Estimated cost for the project is between $3 million and $4 million.
October developments
Sibley welcomed a second new business in 2015. Doors opened on the AmericInn in October. A group of 35 local investors worked together along with three area banks to secure funding for the 36-room hotel. The hotel hosted an open house in November as part of a grand opening celebration.
“As a council member, it’s really exciting because you see these ideas come to you all the time, but when something gets done … like this here, we’re just so excited that AmericInn is out here,” Sibley Councilman Larry Pedley said during the open house.
Windom’s North Windom Industrial Park’s first phase is expanding. Eight of 12 lots in the park have been sold and construction on a warehouse for Toro began in the last week of August.
The close proximity between Toro’s manufacturing facility and the warehouse is ideal.
“Our employees are really excited to have the new warehouse,” Laura Vancura, human resources manager for Toro said. “It is exciting because it shows Toro’s commitment to Windom and the surrounding area. We have such a great workforce in this area.”

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