Hydac North America broke ground on its lot in the Airlie Business Park in Denver on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first company to do so.
“It takes some courage to be the first,” Tom Anderson, board chair of the Lincoln Economic Development Association, said when opening the celebration.
As the Times-News previously reported, the Germany-based manufacturer of hydraulics received approval from the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners for an extension to their incentive grant agreement last week. Hydac had originally intended to begin construction in September 2011.
The initial incentives package was approved back in June of 2010.
Matthias Muller, president of Hydac North America, said during the groundbreaking ceremony that the delay was a “question of timing with customers,” adding that it was never a “should-we-or-shouldn’t-we” type of situation.
The company, which is the largest privately held hydraulics manufacturer in the world, has plants in several other states across the country, including Texas, Alabama, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and has 700 employees in total.
Muller said the local facility will employ roughly 50 people.
Hydac, which Muller touted as a “pretty stable company,” has had no layoffs in North America during the recent recession.
Throughout his remarks, he described the company as both “family-oriented” and “broad-based,” while also calling it “semi-organized chaos, steadily on the way up.”
Regarding the company’s future plans, he said he would like it to “diversify as much as possible.”
Officials from S.C. Hondros & Associates of Charlotte, the design builders for the project, were also in attendance at Wednesday’s event. President Sam Kleto joked that it was the “perfect day for a groundbreaking for a facility to build cooling systems,” in reference to the afternoon heat.
“We look forward to the ribbon-cutting soon,” he added.
Muller also looked ahead to the plant’s eventual opening, commenting that he hoped it would coincide with Hydac’s 50th anniversary next year.
Crystal Gettys, interim director and business development manager for LEDA, said that with Hydac starting construction, the county will begin the next phase in marketing the Airlie Business Park.
County Commissioner George Arena noted that recruiting new industries to take up occupancy there should be easier now with one already in the door.