Serta factory building in Clear Lake sold, unnamed new owner to create up to 40 jobs with new light industrial manufacturing facility

CLEAR LAKE — Just over two months after announcing they were closing their Clear Lake manufacturing facility, Serta Simmons Bedding has announced they’ve sold their facility to another company.

North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation CEO Chad Schreck made the announcement at last night’s Clear Lake City Council meeting. “I can’t divulge who the purchaser of that is tonight as far as the name goes, but they have selected the highest bidder, or are working through the process of working through the purchase agreement with them. As they put those documents together here over the coming weeks, we’ll be able to divulge a little bit more hopefully by next council meeting that it will be ok to go public with.”

While Schreck could not name the new owner, he stated that it would be a light industrial manufacturer with about 35-to-40 new jobs in the first year, with job growth as things develop. Schreck says it’s the first significant manufacturing space that’s been available in Clear Lake for years, something they’ve struggled to deal with when trying to recruit business prospects to the area.  “We get numerous leads over the years for 100,000-square foot manufacturing space, and frankly we’ve never had a product to sell. This building really represented a big opportunity, and it was one we prioritized right from the get-go. We appreciate Serta actually connecting us with their representatives at CBRE, who immediately responded to us and met with us, and were able to talk through that and the plan for it, as well as connect with some existing businesses and other prospects that we were able to funnel their way.”

Schreck says the old Serta facility has many possibilities for a new owner.  “That facility is 108,000-square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space, as well as 5,000-square feet of office space on about a 14-acre site, so it is expandable. There were actually plans in place at one time to actually almost double that space, so there’s a lot of room for potential growth there as well.”

Schreck says the council will be asked to offer an incentive package to fill the factory space and create jobs in the community.  “A seven-year, 75% TIF tax rebate on the new valuation of the facility. It’s currently valued at about $3.4 million. In talking with the assessor, it sounds like they’ll probably mark that up close to whatever the purchase price is, which is in the $6 million range. So we’ll be looking at the TIF agreement to impact that at approximately $2.5 million.”

 Schreck says they’ll work with the company to also apply to the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s High Quality Jobs Program for further assistance.

Serta had been in Clear Lake since 1998. Their closing impacted 86 employees.