MUNSTER| A growing air conditioning component manufacturer needed room to expand and decided to uproot and move across the state border.
Tec Air Inc., which designs and produces fans and blowers for a variety of industries, is relocating its corporate headquarters and a manufacturing operation from Willow Springs to Munster. The company plans to invest about $15 million in its new home in the Lake Business Center on Calumet Avenue, where it plans to employ 258 workers by 2016.
The company, the latest in a string to decamp from the south Chicago suburbs to lower-cost Northwest Indiana, is shifting about 150 jobs across the state line to a larger, more state-of-the-art facility. The 48-year-old business plans to start interviewing and hiring additional employees in the first six months of next year.
"Tec Air is experiencing significant growth, and we want to position ourselves to capitalize on that path of success," said Bob McMurtry, company president.
The company, which also operates a factory in Tennessee, is moving its corporate offices, engineering labs, quality labs, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution to Munster.
Lower taxes and costs of doing business should improve the company's bottom line, McMurtry said.
"Outgrowing our current location and Indiana's pro-business environment solidified our decision to not only expand into Indiana but to relocate our entire operation from Illinois," he said. "I am confident the Munster location will allow Tec Air to achieve greater operational efficiencies and realize its growth potential."
Tec Air will transfer about $8 million in equipment from Illinois to Indiana. The business will invest an additional $7 million in building improvements and equipment.
That investment includes renovations to its its 128,000-sqaure-foot space in the former mattress factory and new injection molding and assembly equipment. The Munster operation will get outfitted with new molding machines, robotics and test equipment for research and development.
Tec Air designs and makes fans and blowers for heating and air conditioning systems in cars, factories and homes. The company also produces components for the appliance, refrigeration, yard care and floor care sectors.