OWATONNA — About 100 new jobs will be created, most of them in town, when a new Twin Cities-based construction company takes up residency in an Owatonna facility later this year.
Rise Modular, with corporate offices in downtown Minneapolis, is under contract to purchase the former Slidell building on Lemond Road in Owatonna. The building will be converted into a space to build “volumetric modular” apartment buildings and hotels — buildings that are made by stacking and joining finished modules to form a building.
The modules, which will be produced in Owatonna, will be at a maximum of 16 feet wide, 12 feet tall and up to 72 feet long, said Jason Jendrysik, vice president of operations for Rise Modular. Once the module is constructed, it will then be transported to the site of the apartment building or hotel where it will be lifted by a crane and stacked up with other modules to form the apartment building or hotel, said Jendrysik.
“Just like Legos,” he said.
The Owatonna factory — located at the corner of Lemond and SW 24th Avenue, across the street from Gopher Sport and next door to Cybex — should be up and running by the end of the year, said Christian Lawrence, the founder and CEO of Rise Modular, with hiring of workers to begin in the fall. Lawrence projects about 80 people will be needed for the production staff — from entry-level up to managers — when the facility is at full capacity, with an additional 20 administrative staff members. The administrative staff will largely be based in Minneapolis.