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$1B Lego factory in Chesterfield to open in 2025

A cluster of just six Lego bricks can be combined in over 915 million different ways. Lego Group’s Chesterfield County factory, which is expected to be running by the end of 2025, will be pumping out billions of those small, colored bricks for customers worldwide.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced 10 months ago that the Danish toymaker had chosen Meadowville Technology Park as the site for U.S. manufacturing. That $1 billion investment includes a 1.7 million-square-foot manufacturing facility with a pledge of 1,761 jobs for the area.

Lego on Wednesday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the plant with Youngkin; national, state and local officials; and economic development groups.

The factory will soon span over 340 acres of land with an initial opening date scheduled in 2025.

“On these grounds we will continue our traditions of super strong craftsmanship rooted in high quality, in a sustainable manufactured way with state of the art technology to produce billions of these. I’m excited,” said Carsten Rasmussen, Lego’s chief operations officer.

Each Lego brick is made with the precision of a tenth of a hair. By completion of the facility and a full ramping up of its workforce, the factory will manufacture the full array of Lego products.

This year also coincides with the 50th anniversary of Lego’s move into the U.S.; Rasmussen said the factory had an initial planned lifespan of 50 years, with the possibility that it could last for up to 100 years.

“We have built strong foundations in the U.S.,” Rasmussen said. “Today, it is one of our biggest markets, and we have still a lot of potential to strengthen our presence but, more importantly, to delight many more children with fantastic play experience that will help them with creativity and learning.”

Eco-friendly design planned with project

Rasmussen said the factory’s design is also slated to have a major component of environmental friendliness when it comes to operational aspects like water usage, waste treatments and energy usage. The initial structure is set to be powered entirely by a solar park at the site’s grounds and rooftop.

Youngkin and legislators signed a bill for the Precision Plastic Manufacturing Grant Fund. Identical bills in the state House and Senate are offering $56 million on grants between 2027 and 2035. The bills do not specifically mention Lego by name but refer to a company making “precision plastic products” with expected capital investments of $1 billion creating 1,761 new full-time jobs.

“We will see the spirit of Virginia further breathe life into this facility. And that facility will build tools to inspire the imagination and we will hear that click over and over again that kids love,” Youngkin said. “This will be the best. This facility, this culture and this opportunity. The best business climate in Virginia, the best education in Virginia. The best sites in Virginia, the best infrastructure, the best trained workforce. This is what we come together to deliver.”

Kevin Carroll, chair of the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors, said the county’s Economic Development Authority, or EDA, had been intentionally saving the last undeveloped parcel at the Meadowville Technology Park for just the right partner.

“We found that strong partner was LEGO Group; what a lucky break,” Carroll said. “The future economic impact of the plant … cannot be overstated, as we will see the creation of 1,761 jobs coupled with the contributions to the commercial tax revenue will significantly help fund public safety, schools and other public services while reducing the county’s reliance on residential property taxes.”

Other investments in area The Meadowville Technology Park, at Interstate 295 and the James River, is also home to an Amazon fulfillment center and a Capital One data center among other tenants. The Chesterfield EDA expanded the park’s footprint in 2020 by purchasing the now-Lego property. The Chesterfield board contributed $3 million of the $21 million price tag, with the rest coming from the EDA. The land was formerly part of an 800-acre American Tobacco cigarette plant site.

Virginia Economic Development Partnership said in a statement that Lego cited more than 100 factors and sub-factors when choosing Meadowville. Virginia’s solution, that statement said, was focused on “an attractive, pad-ready site with strategic access to markets, comprehensive custom workforce solutions from talent recruitment to training, a competitive state and community incentive package, and a commitment to renewable energy.”

The ultimate 1,700-member workforce is being hired in two states. The first stage of 500 employees is already underway with around 20 people hired so far. That first batch of workers will work out of a local facility until the full factory is built. Rasmussen said the initial operations will package around 35 to 40 different products that are molded at its site in Monterrey, Mexico.

Rasmussen said Lego Group is still determining the average salary for a worker at the plant, but it should be competitive with the market with other great benefits.

The Chesterfield facility is one Lego’s seventh worldwide: two in Asia, three in Europe and the one in Monterrey. Rasmussen said the Chesterfield factory will have to ramp up production over an unspecified number of years before making its full assortment of products. While ramping up, it will work in tandem with the Mexico factory. He said the Chesterfield operations will start with around 40 products.

A scale model of the factory, made out of 34,174 Lego bricks, includes a line representing where the facility could possibly expand in the coming years. Rasmussen said the facility has space to double its operations on the current parcel of land, but that a timeline for that growth is unknown.

“It’s going to take us some years before we were going to expand. That could be done in sections, so not necessarily everything at one time,” Rasmussen said. “It could be some section first. It’s like the brick. It’s very, very modular. You can build it together.”

Site work on the land began this week. Rasmussen said vertical construction would start within the next couple of months.


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