Swiss humidifier maker Condair pays $55M for Chesterfield warehouse, plans to start operations next year

condair willis road scaled

Condair plans to open a manufacturing facility at 1410 Willis Road in Chesterfield County. The company recently bought the 400,000-square-foot building. (Courtesy Chesterfield)

A Chesterfield warehouse that has changed ownership several times in recent years is now in the hands of a Swiss company that plans to convert the building into a manufacturing center.

Condair Group, which makes commercial humidifiers, dehumidifiers and related products, last month purchased the 400,000-square-foot Willis Commerce Center at 1410 Willis Road $54.5 million, according to Chesterfield land records.

The company is converting the building into a production center and plans to be operational there early next year, Horace Wynn, COO of Condair’s North American operations, said in an email.

Wynn said the upcoming Chesterfield facility would be the first time that Condair has planted its flag in the Richmond region.

The Swiss company’s other North America production facilities are in Racine, Wisconsin, and Ottawa, Canada. Condair has production facilities in Germany and China as well. The company’s major customers include Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. Condair was founded in 1948.

Condair is the third owner of the Willis Road building and its 58-acre site, which was built on spec in 2020. Scannell Properties was the developer and original owner of the building, and sold it to BentallGreenOak for $52.1 million in 2022.

Condair’s purchase from BentallGreenOak was recorded with the county in May. The property has an assessed value of $48 million.

The currently vacant warehouse had formerly been leased by iFit Health & Fitness, a Utah-based fitness equipment and software company that used it as a distribution center. An iFit spokeswoman said the company left the property about a year ago.

The facility is expected to start operations in early 2025, and plans to open with about 60 employees. Condair says it intends to hire a total of 180 people over a five-year period to work there. The company’s manufacturing operations based in Center, Texas, would be relocated to the Chesterfield facility by 2026.

The median salary of employees at the new facility is anticipated to be $70,000, Wynn said.

State and county announcements regarding the project described it as a $57.2 million investment, the bulk of which consists of the purchase price. Wynn said there would be more, unspecified spending related to buildout and capital investment at the site.

Condair had considered opening the facility in South Carolina before choosing Virginia, according to a Tuesday news release from Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office. The governor’s announcement said the company’s production of industrial evaporative cooling equipment pairs well with Virginia’s growing number of data centers.

Youngkin approved a $700,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to Condair to help Chesterfield secure the project. The fund is used by the governor to encourage a company to enter Virginia or expand existing operations in the state.

Condair also qualifies for the state’s Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for full-time jobs created, as well as support from The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a recruitment and training initiative. Condair is also eligible for benefits from The Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program.

Condair isn’t the only European manufacturer to announce an expansion into Chesterfield in recent months. Danish company Topsoe recently announced plans to open a facility to produce solid oxide electrolyzer cells at Meadowville Technology Park.

POSTED IN Manufacturing

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Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
10 minutes ago

Wow what great news! I know I need to make the case that “boring warehouse news” is more important than a lot of other items but I saw it as a VERY good sign that a developer years ago was going to build a warehouse on spec (was it this one?) due to his assessment of the market being able to absorb such a large bldg without a specific customer. MAYBE the machines assembled (manufactured?) there are not that interesting in themselves unlike the electrolysers in the Danish facility, but what IS interesting is that manufacturers are choosing Virginia, and… Read more »

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
25 seconds ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Here’s a more recent account: Richmond area 11th hottest job market in the USA and the hottest on the east coast outside of Florida. It is nice seeing Richmond outranking Raleigh on something tangible for a change.