Sweetwater Breaks Ground on 110,000 Sq. Foot Expansion
Sweetwater Sound, Inc. broke ground on its 110,000 square foot expansion on November 14, at the Sweetwater Campus. In attendance for the ceremony were Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, other elected city and county officials, and representatives of local economic development organizations.
The company will not only add 110,000 square feet to its current facility, but will also add more than 315 full-time positions to its workforce over the next four years, plus a number of ancillary jobs related to Sweetwater’s partners, vendors, contractors, and restaurant and music school staffs. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014.
Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack said, “Thanks to the great work of the Economic Development Alliance, Sweetwater will be able to continue to create jobs and grow in Fort Wayne.”
Most of the new jobs created will be high paying and will result in many new employees moving with their families to Fort Wayne, just as the company has experienced with its phenomenal growth in employment in recent years. Since Sweetwater moved into its new campus in November of 2006, a move that was made possible with help from an incentive package put together by the Alliance, total employment has grown from 240 to almost 500 today.
Sweetwater Sound’s decision to expand its current facility allows the company to enhance its headquarters’ campus and maintain fully integrated operations. The expansion will include 35,000 square feet of additional warehouse space, with the remaining 75,000 square feet devoted to marketing and sales staff, plus additional conference and training space. Sweetwater Sound plans to invest at least $23.6 million.
The company was offered an incentive package of $7.1 million spread over ten years from the State of Indiana, Allen County, and the City of Fort Wayne, which would be available based on Sweetwater’s meeting annual benchmarks, including job creation.
Sweetwater Sound began business 33 years ago in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and is the country’s most respected dealer in high technology equipment for musicians, recording studios, and broadcasters. Over the last several years, Sweetwater’s growth in sales has been averaging more than 20 percent per year. The company is currently the third largest music instrument and pro audio retailer in the United States.