Way Interglobal broke ground June 17 on a new global headquarters that eventually will consolidate “everything and everyone” in one facility that spans nearly 18 acres of space.
The supplier’s groundbreaking ceremony saw perfect weather as Way welcomed its team, customers, development councils and local commission and chamber members to the event in Elkhart, Indiana. Attendees witnessed the start of a nearly 800,000-square-foot building, which will eventually combine and expand Way’s current 360,000-square-foot total across three locations.
“It is about time,” Way spokesperson Eli Grant said of the groundbreaking. “You are not going to be able to drive on the interstate in Elkhart without seeing and knowing you passed this building.”
Way’s new facility is located off Interstate 90, adjacent to the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
The ceremony comes on the heels of the supplier’s recently built facility in Niles, Michigan – a 60,000-square-foot warehouse opened in January this year. Grant noted while the company’s initial plan is to consolidate its facilities and staff under one roof, growth rates that are maintained or surpassed could push Way to retain certain spaces.
Grant said rolling more inventory off the lines faster is the supplier’s No. 1 goal.
“In addition, when we start to develop bigger products, we will need more space to do that,” Grant said. “That is kind of the biggest thing – keeping pace with the trajectory of our business. Our customers want more units that are turned around quicker.”
While the company has no specific, short-term plans within new categories, Grant said Way will continue to support RV manufacturers and owners – which could lead to different sizes and shapes of products. The main reason for the bigger space is to support current volume, he noted.
The new facility primarily will support warehousing and distribution, office space and a showroom. In addition, Grant said the building’s capacity will aid in product development and maintenance, with more than 50 docking bays on-site.
“We are still putting the finishing touches on the design of the building. The interior is a work in progress,” Grant said. “The showroom is a big area. We will have the volume to do some interesting lifestyle approaches.”
He noted the supplier’s new headquarters will eventually debut “RV pads,” where customers can camp on-site with necessary plug-ins.
In addition to more space, Way is touting more staff – the company stated plans to expand its current team by 30%. Grant noted a target of 108 new hires that will fill positions across the board.
The number comes from required tax credit incentives from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), which offered Way up to $1 million in conditional credits based on the company’s job creation plans, to be completed by the end of 2024. IEDC also offered up to $400,000 from the Hoosier Business Investment tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana.
Project costs were not disclosed.
“Talking to the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, [the facility] is the biggest project in the county in years,” Grant said. “…We are super excited about the potential, and are balancing those 18 months away to run the business between now and then. We are looking forward to the future and the new space, the opportunities present.
“Needless to say, this is a significant investment that demonstrates the health of our business today and the growth potential we plan to achieve,” he said.
As Way continues making arrangements for its move to the Elkhart headquarters in late 2022, Grant noted an anticipated ribbon-cutting event and drone footage in the future.