Sun Hydraulics completes plant construction in South Manatee

HERALD STAFF REPORTAugust 1, 2013 

MANATEE COUNTY -- Nearly $433,000 in economic development incentives from the county helped Sun Hydraulics Corp. open its 75,000-square-foot manufacturing plant adjacent to its existing operations.

The company's third area facility opened this month and is expected to bring more than 350 jobs over the next five years.

The company's $20 million expansion allows Sun Hydraulics to grow here and eventually bring new jobs to the Sarasota-Bradenton area, according to Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.

Over the next several weeks, Sun will move operations from a Lenexa, Kan., facility to the new local plant. Sun's current manifold production in Manatee County will also be relocated to the new plant over the same time period.

"This will help us to better coordinate our product and shipping environment and improve our expedite capability, while ensuring we maintain our industry

best delivery reliability," said Allen Carlson, Sun Hydraulics' president and chief executive officer. "We will be able to reconfigure our operations and consolidate certain aspects of the business that will make us more productive."

In 2011, Sun Hydraulics completed construction on improvements to utilities to serve a building at 701 Tallevast Road and the new building at 803 Tallevast. The company spent an estimated $20 million on the new plant and infrastructure improvements. Also in 2011, Sun renovated its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Sarasota County at a cost of approximately $1.5 million.

The EDC and Manatee County government offered the company economic development incentives and helped facilitate the company's expansion through its rapid response permitting program. Sun qualified for a total of $396,420 in performance-based incentives from Manatee County, as well as $36,378 in transportation impact fee incentives. The incentives are based on the company adding 361 jobs over five years at an average annual salary that is 15 percent higher than the county average.

Sun Hydraulics designs and manufactures high performance screw-in hydraulic cartridge valves and manifolds which are used to control force, speed and motion as integral components in fluid power systems. Sun's products allow machine designers to develop innovative and efficient control systems for all types of capital goods. The company has approximately 900 total employees, approximately 700 are located in Bradenton and Sarasota.

"Sun Hydraulics has been an excellent corporate partner and employer in Manatee County for many years, and this latest expansion signals the company's ongoing commitment to this region," said Ed Hunzeker, Manatee County administrator. "The Manatee Board of County Commission is dedicated to accelerating the pace of job growth in the community. Performance-based incentives and a business-friendly approach are essential to this effort."

A list of Manatee County's economic development incentives is available at www.mymanatee.org.

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