Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary and Richard King from King Industries, formalized their business relationship with a contract signing ceremony iniside City Hall at noon today. Photographs by John Murray

   It’s official: King Industries, Inc. of Norwalk, Conn. is expanding to Waterbury.

   Mayor Neil M. O’Leary and Richard S. King, the company’s owner and president, signed the purchase and sale agreement today at Waterbury City Hall, sealing the deal on the purchase of approximately 10.75 acres of a remediated brownfield industrial site at Waterbury Industrial Commons, 1975 Thomaston Ave.

   King Industries will invest $50 million in the project.  The construction of an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing complex will create an estimated 180 construction jobs and upon completion over 50 permanent manufacturing jobs.

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary and Economic Director Joe McGrath listen to Richard King during the press conference.

   “I’m very excited,” said Mayor O’Leary.  “This is an extraordinary moment for Waterbury.  The addition of meaningful jobs and growth in our grand list represents a positive stimulus for the city.  King Industries will be a wonderful partner in our community.  Their presence offers an opportunity to foster alliances with our educational institutions and community organizations.”

   King Industries Inc. is a fourth-generation privately held family business.  Since 1932 it’s been located within the center of Norwalk, Conn.  The company currently employs 200 people in various roles and job functions, ranging from fork lift operators, welders, engineers, to health and safety technicians, electricians, and Ph.D. chemists.

   With sales offices in both Holland and China, King Industries is recognized as a reputable and quality-driven global supplier of specialty additives used in high performance lubricants, coatings, fuel, rubber and electronics.  Many of King’s products are vital to end-use consumer products such as cars, trucks, heavy equipment, windmills, planes, and cell phones.

   When all phases of construction are completed, the new state-of-the-art plant will consist of several buildings totaling 80,000 square feet.  King is working with experienced professionals to design a plant that is not only well-tailored to the company’s needs but also aesthetically pleasing.  The city’s goal is for the 30-acre Waterbury Industrial Commons campus to become a first-rate premier industrial park.

Richard King, right and Bob King are looking forward to the move to Waterbury.

   “We have been growing our business at a steady rate, always adding new products, customers, employees and equipment,” Richard King said.  “We were at a point where we had to expand our manufacturing operations in order to keep up with customer demand.  Waterbury met our criteria: close access to a main interstate, a community that is familiar with industrial and manufacturing facilities, and a skilled local labor force.”

   Under the terms of the purchase agreement, King will build the $50 million manufacturing facility over 10 years and will generate $1.4 million a year in property taxes.

   The Waterbury Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the contract between the city of Waterbury and King Industries at their regular monthly meeting on November 25, 2013.

    Under the leadership of Mayor O’Leary, the city of Waterbury continues to advance its economic development strategy with both public and private investments, as evidenced by the opening of 26 new businesses during the past 18 months providing over 315 new full and part-time employment opportunities. Among the 26 new businesses is a good mix of manufacturing, retail, restaurant and professional businesses, allowing for continued expansion and diversification within the city’s employment base.