A major economic boost is coming to the banks of the James River—tiny brick by tiny brick.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held last week at Meadowville Technology Park, which sits in Chesterfield, Virginia. The $1 billion manufacturing plant will bring 1,761 new jobs to Chesterfield County. Meadowville is a publicly owned industrial park south of Richmond at the junction of Interstate 295 and the the James River.
Governor Glenn Youngkin and other dignitaries joined the LEGO Group to break ground on the huge facility. “I am so pleased that the LEGO Group looked at 40 states to build its 1.7-million-square-foot-factory, and chose Virginia to build its next chapter,” Youngkin said.
Naturally, LEGO showed off a model of the new 340-acre factory property at the groundbreaking ceremony—made up of LEGO bricks.
LEGO Group announced the Virginia facility last summer, which will be only its second manufacturing plant in the Americas. The first is a manufacturing site in Monterrey, Mexico that primarily supplies the U.S. market currently. Bringing LEGO manufacturing even closer to its large U.S. market was a no-brainer.
CEO Niels B. Christiansen says the sustainability potential at the Virginia location was also a big reason for choosing the Bay state.
“The location in Virginia allows us to build a solar park which supports our sustainability ambitions and provides easy links to country-wide transportation networks. We are also looking forward to creating fantastic employment opportunities for the people of Virginia.”
The LEGO factory is designed to operate as a carbon-neutral facility. The onsite solar park is meant to generate renewable energy equal to 100 percent of the factory’s day-to-day energy use.
The factory’s operation is classified as “precision manufacturing”, and they aren’t kidding about precision. LEGO Group says each brick is “molded to the accuracy of a hair’s width (5my/0.005mm) to ensure the perfect ‘clutch power’ that holds LEGO creations together.”
LEGO Group said that production was projected to start in the second half of 2025. A temporary packaging site will open in an existing building nearby in early 2024 and create up to 500 jobs.
-Meg Walburn Viviano