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Garmin could add 1,400 workers in ‘Phase 2’ expansion

Garmin Ltd. will soon begin construction of the second phase of a $200 million expansion project at its Olathe, Kan., headquarters. The electronics giant completed the first phase in October 2018 with the opening of a 775,000-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing facility.

Kansas City Business Journal reported that the second phase will convert its previous warehouse and manufacturing centers into a 544,000-square-foot aviation business center, with 52,000 square feet for a fitness center and dining space. The increased space will allow Garmin to grow its employee base from the current 3,700 workers to 5,400.

Phil Straub, Garmin's executive vice president and managing director of aviation, told the paper that the company wanted to create a space that can host guests and customers to showcase the “rich history of Garmin.”

Straub said the new aviation visitor center, as well as an area with labs and flight simulation spaces, will allow the company to create a better user experience.

“If you think about aviation, half of our business is original equipment manufacturer. Putting an avionics system in an airplane is a long project that can take a couple years to five, and requires a lot of collaboration,” Straub said.

Patrick Desbois, Garmin's executive vice president of operations, said the majority of “Building 3” will help consolidate the aviation segment's vertically integrated functions, including engineering, research and sales, into one space.

Construction is scheduled to begin in January.

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