Lego under contract to buy 340 acres in Meadowville Tech Park for $1B plant

A rendering of the interior of Lego Group’s planned 1.7 million-square-foot factory at Meadowville Technology Park. (Images courtesy of Lego Group)

It would take a whole lot of Legos to build the sizable new facility that’s planned for Meadowville Technology Park’s latest high-profile tenant.

Lego Group, the global toymaker known for its brick-building assembly sets, plans to invest $1 billion to construct a U.S. manufacturing plant in the Chesterfield industrial park, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Wednesday morning during an event held at the Science Museum of Virginia.

The 1.7 million-square-foot facility is expected to create more than 1,760 jobs over time. Lego plans to break ground on the project this year and wrap up construction in 2025, the same year production at the factory is expected to begin.

The Chesterfield facility, which will handle the production of Lego bricks and packaging of kits, will be Lego’s seventh factory worldwide and the second in North America. The other one is in Mexico.

A rendering of the exterior of the factory Lego Group plans to build.

The company’s investment in the Chesterfield factory is planned to take place over 10 years. Lego’s site at Meadowville will also feature an on-premises solar energy farm that is planned to handle the energy needed to power the factory.

The Chesterfield plant is expected to work toward its stated employment goal over a 10-year period, according to a news release. The company plans to hire 500 of the employees to operate a temporary packaging facility slated to open in early 2024.

Chesterfield officials said they weren’t told who they were competing against for the project, and the project has been in the works for about seven months. Chesterfield Economic Development Director Garrett Hart said that Meadowville’s existing infrastructure and available land made Chesterfield competitive in the process.

“It’s the importance of having ready-to-go sites. Those guys were only looking at people who could get started this year and Meadowville has water and sewer and roads in place,” Hart said.

Lego Group has 380 acres under contract at Meadowville Technology Park, where it plans to build its second factory in North America. The other factory is located in Mexico. (Image courtesy of Chesterfield Economic Development)

The Lego plant will occupy a 340-acre site at Meadowville that the company has under contract. The site is situated on the northern end of the park just to the east of Interstate 295 and is currently owned by the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority.

The sale is expected to close by the end of the summer. Both Lego and Chesterfield declined to share the amount the company is expected to pay for the land.

The assemblage consists of multiple parcels with a total assessment of at least $22 million, according to online Chesterfield property records. Some parcels straddle the future Lego property’s southern boundary at Meadowville Road, making it unclear the exact assessed value of the land the company intends to buy.

Lego was attracted to Virginia due to factors like its workforce and transportation infrastructure, President and CEO Niels Christiansen said in his remarks during the event. He said growing demand for Lego kits motivated the interest in increasing the company’s manufacturing capability.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Wednesday that toymaker Lego Group plans to build a manufacturing facility in Chesterfield County. (Jack Jacobs photo)

In addition to Youngkin and Christiansen, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick, Chesterfield Board of Supervisors Chairman Chris Winslow, Denmark’s ambassador to the United States Lone Dencker Wisborg and Lego COO Carsten Rasmussen also shared remarks at the event.

The Denmark-based company has about 2,600 U.S. employees and U.S. operations are headquartered in Connecticut. The company operates 100 Lego stores in the United States.

Chesterfield worked with the Greater Richmond Partnership, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission to land the project, according to a release from the county economic development department. Lego will be eligible to receive a $56 million performance grant from the MEI.

Lego spokespeople didn’t respond to an inquiry about who will be the architect and general contractor on the project.

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Will Willis
Will Willis
17 days ago

This is awesome, the level of out reach for imagination and innovation from Lego into the surrounding school systems and would imagine a new section in the Science Museum “the Lego Innovation Center” would be awesome too. Not to mention over 1700 new jobs.

Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Michael P Morgan-Dodson
17 days ago
Reply to  Will Willis

Center, I want a LEGO museum! Solar powered, zero emissions and 1700 good paying jobs. Great day for RVA and VA!

Last edited 17 days ago by Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Ed Christina
Ed Christina
16 days ago

But ow you will not be able to walk anyplace in Chesterfield barefoot

Peter James
Peter James
16 days ago

I second that! My only ask – put the Lego museum in the city – not out by the plant. Maybe near the SMVA or the Richmond Children’s Museum. Not that I want to take from space dedicated to office, retail and residential, but maybe a small portion of the burgeoning Diamond District could be a landing spot for the Lego Museum – maybe near the new ballpark.

Just throwing ideas out there into the public square – but an authentic Lego museum is a MUST for RVA!

Peter James
Peter James
16 days ago

This is a great pickup for RVA! I wonder if we could pick up some kind of regional HQ office to go along with it at some point down the road? If NOVA can snag Boeing, Raytheon AND Amazon and if RDU-CH can snag Apple – perhaps RVA could make inroads with LEGO!

Last edited 16 days ago by Peter James
Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
16 days ago

Will they build the plant with traditional materials or out of Legos? Just asking. This is a great get for the region, one of several on the way. ( I’m just an optimist.)

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
16 days ago

Overall sounds like a very good thing. But before we get too attached to this 1760 jobs number lets find out if that is for full-time employees of the facility once built or is inflated by a bunch of construction jobs.

Those construction jobs counts touted by developments will call a plumber who came by for 3 weeks a job. That’s not a job… If I call an electrician to my house to install a ceiling fan for 2 hours did I create a job? No. Its just commerce. Its not creating a job.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
16 days ago

No. No. No. All construction jobs are temporary for sure, but as long as business grows, construction will continue, and the job is extended. No one with building trades skills is out of work today. It’s as permanent a job as anyone’s in the market. Have you called that plumber lately? He’s making as much or more per year than you are. His “commerce” is good!

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
16 days ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

You’re twisting the intent of my point into a class argument in a self serving way. My father is in the trades. Trades are good careers. The point is that temporary jobs need to be split out from permanent jobs when touting these projects. These companies usually want some kind of tax break or grant subsidy. In my mind subsidy tied to 1700 permanent jobs is a lot different than a tax break attached to 500 permanent jobs and 1200 temporary jobs. I’d also just like to point out that Bizsense expanded the content of this article since I made… Read more »

Frank Smith
Frank Smith
16 days ago

I would encourage you to re-read the article Michelle, much of your angst may be satisfied by actual facts.

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank Smith

When Bizsense posted this as breaking news yesterday it was light on facts. They have updated their original article to include more facts this morning. I already pointed that out in my prior comment. Is that so hard to understand Frank? Or are you just in such a rush to be rude…

Matt Faris
Matt Faris
16 days ago

Perhaps Frank stopped reading after you stated: “You’re twisting the intent of my point into a class argument in a self serving way.”

Maybe both examples were unintentional. Lat’s all meet and play with some colorful plastic bricks.

John Dawkins
John Dawkins
15 days ago

In my mind subsidy tied to 1700 permanent jobs is a lot different than a tax break attached to 500 permanent jobs and 1200 temporary jobs

He encouraged you to re-read because that’s not what the article says. 500 of the 1760 employees are being hired early in 2024, before the moulding facility is ready, to work in a temporary packaging-only facility. The 1760 is the amount of full-time employees when the complete factory (moulding, processing, packing) is fully built out. Their Mexican plant now has 3,500 employees, so that 1760 number seems pretty reasonable.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
15 days ago

Self-serving? When your opinion is challenged, you make it personal? Nonetheless, I defended the construction jobs because I’ve seen that brought up far too often as menial and unimportant in the scheme of employment figures. They are not a “bunch of construction jobs”. It’s important to a lot of people.

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
12 days ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

“No one with building trades skills is out of work today” . Operative word is today.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
11 days ago
Reply to  Ed Christina

That is correct. But it also applies to every sector of our economy except for medical professionals.

Lee Gaskins
Lee Gaskins
16 days ago

Really hope they are open to having factory tours. This could inspire innovation ideas and creativity in so many kids. This is great for the Commonwealth.

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
16 days ago

This is a major upgrade over the Casino it’s going to bring in a lot more tax dollars and jobs and be more respected.

Talon Karrde
Talon Karrde
14 days ago

More respected…Absolutely
More tax dollars than a casino… I highly doubt that.

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
12 days ago
Reply to  Talon Karrde

What is your expectation for Casino tax dollars?

Will Willis
Will Willis
11 days ago

That is a great location, I thought that would have been a great location for a National White Water Center like the one in Charlotte too. With access to the James River and view of the beautiful bridge.