WAYCROSS, Ga. (AP) — Finnish company Admares plans to invest $750 million to build a modular housing factory in the U.S. state of Georgia, hiring 1,400 people, officials announced Wednesday.
The company plans to mass produce housing using heavily automated factories. Admares, which was founded in Turku, Finland, said it's in the process of relocating its headquarters to the United States.
The company said its factory in Waycross will be 2.5 million square feet (232,000 square meters), with production starting in late 2025. The company says it plans to build six such factories worldwide, each of which would produce 5,000 to 6,000 homes per year.
Such homes would only need a foundation and utility connections on the site where they are installed, Admares said, and could be built with 80% less material waste and 75% less carbon dioxide emissions than homes built in a traditional way.
"With our advanced technology, we are adopting successful practices that are common in other advanced industries," founder and CEO Mikael Hedberg said in a statement.
The company said it chose Waycross because of good rail and highway connections as well as proximity to a port at Brunswick.
Georgia officials have been worried about workers being able to find affordable places to live. State Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said Admares could help address that problem.
"Workforce housing is a growing national challenge, and Georgia is no exception. The new Admares facility is helping address that challenge, filling a niche that is critical to economic development," Wilson said in a statement.
Admares could qualify for $28 million in state income tax credits, at $4,000 per job over five years, as long as workers make at least $31,300 a year. The state will also pay to train workers. The company could qualify for other incentives, including property tax breaks from Waycross or Ware County.