LAKEWOOD RANCH - A specialty window manufacturer has announced plans to build its global headquarters in Lakewood Ranch, adding 20 new positions once the facility is operational.
IRISS, which manufactures infrared windows used for inspecting industrial electrical equipment, will consolidate its manufacturing operation in Europe and current headquarters in Bradenton to a new complex at the Lakewood Ranch Commerce Center, the company said Thursday.
The $5.7 million project will include 33,000-square-feet of manufacturing and support operations. The company also will invest another $1.2 million in equipment and a training center for clients.
The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2013, with plans to add 20 employees during the three years that follow.
“Our phenomenal growth of 69 percent year over year is driving the decision to co-locate our manufacturing and global headquarters in Manatee County,” CEO Martin Robinson said in a statement. “We were particularly attracted by the airports and road network, plus the area’s appeal for our clients from northern states who will attend our learning center classes and conferences.”
IRISS makes industrial-grade infrared windows that are used mostly by electric utilities that deal with high-voltage equipment. The windows use infrared cameras to detect problems such as corrosion that may affect electrical switch gear or transformers, Robinson said.
IRISS also provides industry training programs to its clients.
The company currently operates headquarters in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Bradenton, where eight workers are now employed. As part of the move, the Manatee County Commissioners awarded $12,000 in performance-based incentives, and the state kicked in $48,000 to accelerate the company’s hiring and capital investment.
IRISS also qualified for expedited permitting and about $6,393 worth of transportation impact fee mitigation from the county, according to the Manatee Economic Development Corp.
Potential job candidates interested in one of the new roles created should monitor the company’s website at www.iriss.com.
Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @JoshSalman