Apogee pits Georgia against Minnesota for glass factory expansion

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 22, 2013 - 7:36 PM

Apogee Enterprises dangled a huge carrot before Minnesota when it announced Tuesday that it must decide whether to invest $30 million in its Viracon glass factory in Owatonna or the one it owns in Statesboro, Ga.

"Apogee is pursuing state and local support for both locations," and will make its decision based upon possible offers, officials said in a notice to the SEC.

In what appears to be a contest for some type of public aid, the Bloomington-based building-glass maker reported that it intends to expand the manufacturing process for its Viracon subsidiary. However, "Apogee is comparing the cost and benefits of making this investment ... to ensure that the investment is made in the location that best strengthens Viracon's competitive position," officials said in a statement.

It is not clear how the project decision would affect jobs in the state. Officials could not be reached for comment.

Viracon, which has glass adorning the rebuilt World Trade Center, the Xcel Energy Center, the University of Minnesota's TCF Stadium and buildings around the world, employs 2,000 U.S. workers, half of whom are in Owatonna. Before the recession, Viracon employed 3,000 workers.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

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