Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
CIVCO to move out of Kalona
Company says it will relocate to Coralville location by 2025
KALONA — Manufacturing company CIVCO Medical Solutions has announced plans to move out of its production location in Kalona to a consolidated company site “in the Iowa City/Coralville area” by 2025, where it will also move its corporate headquarters, currently on Jones Boulevard in Coralville.
The company said the push change would make its affairs more efficient, but not result in any workforce reduction.
“We are excited to bring our manufacturing and corporate functions together under one roof in Coralville,” said CIVCO President Robin Therme in a news release last week. “These changes will allow for improved logistics and capabilities, while also supporting our current growth and what we anticipate in the future.”
The change would vacate a 43,000 square foot, industrially zoned building in the city, leaving it open to a new company.
Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said the lot would stay on tax rolls under CIVCO’s ownership if a buyer wasn’t lined up in time for the manufacturer’s move. Still, he said the city would feel the loss of such a major business, when the time came.
“We did meet with their leadership and we understand their reasoning for the decisions they’re making,” he said. “It does impact Kalona and our business community during that downtime, if there is any. Because (employees) do shop locally, they do eat locally, they purchase gas, groceries, live, all those sorts of things.”
That said, there may be little to no gap in occupancy for the building. Schlabaugh said he was optimistic about finding interested parties.
“We’re hopeful that the quality of the building, the quality of our community, will make it a great draw for the next CIVCO of Kalona,” he said.
Washington Economic Development Group Executive Director Mary Audia is one of a handful of people helping to find a replacement for the company. With the move two years out, that search is just beginning.
Audia said the lot could be broken into smaller pieces for new buyers, possibly under the same roof. Such an approach would broaden the community’s options.
Workforce is another piece of the puzzle. Audia said many of CIVCO’s employees already commuted from out of town, and that the availability of labor for a new company in Kalona would depend heavily on its sector and business model.
“It kind of depends of the type of industry, or if it’s a local industry that’s already established, that plans to grow,” she said. “If it’s smaller, incubator type of situations going in there, I think that’s a lot more doable, because that’s kind of how CIVCO started … they gradually grew into the company they are today.”
In any case, Audia said the lot was a top-notch location, close to larger population centers like Iowa City and Washington, and situated along highways 1 and 22.
“You can basically get wherever you need to get … it’s super, super accessible, and very visible,” she said. “We’re actually kind of excited to see what can grow next in that area, because obviously it’s worked great for CIVCO.”