China-based Midea America Corp., a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest appliance makers, started construction on a $10 million research and development center in Louisville, Kentucky.
The 30,000-square-foot Midea America Research Center, or MARC, will include custom-designed office, engineering and laboratory space as well as testing equipment. Employees will develop appliances for the North American market as the company looks to expand its global sales and customer base.
Company executives expect MARC, located on Chestnut Station Court, to open by January 2017. It will replace Midea’s current Kentucky offices, established in 2015.
“We are truly excited to break ground on this state-of-the-art R&D Center right here in Louisville, the epicenter of the ‘Appliance Corridor’ in the U.S.,” said Mark Wilson, director of technology for MARC. “As a Kentucky native, I’m proud to bring exceptional talent to the State and to keep the tradition of excellence in home appliances well and truly alive.”
“Today marks the latest push by Midea to grow our presence here in Kentucky, and in the U.S. market,” said Jim Tomaszewski, President of Midea America. “We know our success in this market is wholly dependent on developing compelling products for the US consumer. That’s why Midea invests 3 percent of global revenue in R&D every year, and why we are investing in our R&D footprint here in the U.S.”
“We are honored to welcome the construction of Midea’s first U.S. based research and development center to Louisville,” Governor Matt Bevin said. “Kentucky’s renowned manufacturing sector, and the many engineering and R&D experts employed in it, make the Commonwealth the top choice for major international companies. Midea will make significant contributions as a corporate partner and we look forward to seeing its Kentucky operation grow in the coming years.”
To encourage the investment and job creation in Louisville, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March 2015 preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $800,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. Additionally, Midea can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.