The $76 million plan will see new warehouse, conference center
Fort Wayne, Indiana-based online gear titan Sweetwater Sound is expanding its operations and investing $76.4 million dollars into two new facilities on its 163-acre campus. The move will add 1,009 new jobs over the next five years.
Sweetwater will construct a new, 350,000-square-foot warehousing facility that will provide product storage as well as gear testing, gear photography, offices, staff amenities, customer pickup and more. An additional structure will house a new 35,000-square-foot conference center with room for up to 1,000 people that will accommodate continuing education sessions for employees. The facility will also be available for members of the community to use for other events.
“This new warehouse facility will accommodate the tremendous growth we’ve experienced recently,” said Chuck Surack, founder and president of Sweetwater. “Our sales continue to increase each and every year, which means we need more room to be able to serve our customers in the way to which they’re accustomed. We are delighted to be able to continue to expand in Fort Wayne, where it all started.”
The buildings will be operational by the summer of 2020. The company, which employs more than 1,300 associates at its Fort Wayne headquarters, plans to hire additional distribution, logistics, sales, marketing, merchandising, programming/IT and various other administrative roles over the next five years to support its growth.
“Sweetwater continues to have a significant and positive presence in our community,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “I applaud and thank Chuck Surack for his commitment to Fort Wayne. The innovative and unique work taking place at Sweetwater is a tremendous boost to our local economy and job growth opportunities. The success and new investments being experienced at Sweetwater help position Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana as a point of destination to live, work and play.”
This marks the company’s third major expansion in recent years, announcing plans in 2012 to invest $23.5 million to add 110,000 square feet at its headquarters and plans in 2015 to invest $8.8 million to add an in-house marketing department and state-of-the-art video studio.