The name Uzin Utz does not flow trippingly off the tongue, but the German company knows plenty about flooring materials and hopes to learn more at a $31 million research and development center in Waco, with help from about $3 million in tax-funded incentives approved Tuesday.
Uzin Utz plans to build a 125,000-square-foot facility producing flooring installation products at Texas Central Parkway and Mars Drive that may include a seven-floor tower. It would open next year to employ more than 40 people by December 2024.
The Waco City Council and McLennan County Commissioners Court approved a public incentive package Tuesday for Uzin Utz North America that includes a $2 million grant from the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corp. and an economic development grant offsetting the operation’s property taxes.
Uzin Utz’s facility could generate $40 million in wages over 10 years, including in wages paid to employees, and indirectly as the money ripples through the local economy, said Kris Collins, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.
Collins said the facility also could prove a boon to sales tax revenue.
She told commissioners Waco’s appearance on Uzin Utz’s radar with the opening of the research center could lead to further collaboration.
The company’s North America headquarters is in Aurora, Colorado, and it has a presence in Dover, Delaware, according to its website. Collins said it chose Waco for expansion as it pursues business in the southwestern United States.
The company’s brands include Uzin, Wolff and Pallmann. Uzin-branded products include adhesives, leveling compounds and substances and systems to mitigate moisture. Wolff produces machinery and specialty tools for the flooring industry. Pallmann specializes in the care and treatment of wood, especially that in subflooring.
Floordaily.net, a trade site, posted news of Uzin Utz’s plans, describing it as “a family-owned company headquartered in Ulm, Germany, that manufactures moisture mitigation products, primers, leveling and patching compounds, floorcovering adhesives and application tools for those products.”
Collins said Uzin Utz is seeking the $2 million economic development grant primarily to recoup costs related to buying a 15-acre tract.
It also will receive a 50% break on real property taxes over 10 years, and a 40% to 5% descending break on personal property taxes over seven years.
Meanwhile, Uzin Utz pledges to pay an average wage of no less than $51,500 per year on or before Dec. 31, 2024, while also agreeing to pay an average of at least $17.50 per hour across all jobs within the next few years.
Also Tuesday, commissioners meeting via Zoom heard a status report on the $30 million-plus expansion of the Extraco Events Center at Lake Air Drive and Bosque Boulevard. They learned kitchen equipment for use in concession and prep kitchens and sporting goods and sports flooring to accommodate six basketball or 12 volleyball courts will cost about $920,000.
The costs were not included in initial construction estimates, but the contractor for the job, John W. Erwin General Contractor, will supervise installation. About $2 million in cost under-runs on the balance of the project will cover the additional expense.
Also Tuesday, Waco City Council Member Hector Sabido lobbied commissioners to designate the South Waco Community Center, 2815 Speight Ave., an in-person early voting location for the May elections.
Commissioners voted to postpone action on the request.