Chino, Calif,-based Alfa Leisure Inc. has agreed to purchase 34 acres in southwestern Oregon with plans of building a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that would employ an estimated 200 workers within five years.
According to a report in the News-Review, Roseburg, Ore., the privately held company inked a deal Tuesday (April 5) with Douglas County for the property situated in an industrial park just off Interstate 5. Alfa Leisure also took out an option on 14 additional acres at the park.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Douglas County,” said Helga Conrad, recruitment director for the Umpqua Economic Development Partnership. “This meets one of our goals for diversification.”
Exposure along I-5 was critical in the company’s decision to locate in Douglas County, Conrad said. Alfa Leisure plans to display its newly built models along a 10-acre strip of property located next to the freeway to capitalize on the heavy drive-by traffic.
Alfa Leisure, which builds fith-wheels and Class A motorhomes, plans to begin construction of the factory this summer. It’s expected to take about a year to complete the building. Later, a sales and service operation will be added.
The newspaper reported that both Alfa Leisure and Douglas County will be working closely with a local community college to develop a program that will teach prospective employees skills needed to land a job with the company.
“The desire is to have jobs for people who are already here,” Douglas County Commissioner Dan Van Slyke said.
Contact with Alfa Leisure began more than a year ago and stemmed from a postcard sent to a number of businesses in Northern and Southern California by the Umpqua Economic Development Partnership.
Last spring, Conrad visited Alfa Leisure’s manufacturing plant in Chino to talk with company officials, to see how the factory operated and to learn about skills needed by the company’s manufacturing and assembly workers.
The deal itself was brokered over a period of months. The Douglas County Industrial Development Board approved the contract Tuesday morning and forwarded it on to the Board of Commissioners.
Alfa Leisure will pay the county $1.02 million up front for the property at the industrial park. After five years of operation, the company will then receive a credit of $5,000 per job when the average salary equals $11.48 an hour or more.
Alfa Leisure is led by Johnnie R. Crean, the company’s chief executive officer. His family’s roots in the manufacture of motorhomes spans three generations.