Des Moines Insurer To Add 1,000 Downtown Jobs

By Donnelle Eller

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July 19, 2007

Principal Financial Group plans to add 1,500 employees in Des Moines, including 1,000 downtown, as part of a $103 million expansion.

Principal told state leaders today its project includes a 1,800-space parking garage and a care center for 180 children.

Principal said 840 of the jobs it will create would pay an average of $23.45 an hour — or about $49,000 annually. The financial services company said today it’s also seeking a local property tax abatement valued at $7.25 million over 10 years.

Principal was one of 14 companies that pledged to create or retain a total of 2,700 jobs. The state provided tax credits plus $4.1 million in direct loans and grants.

“I have three things to talk about today: jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Gov. Chet Culver to reporters following the Iowa Economic Development Board meeting.

Cargill Inc. said it plans a $294 million ethanol expansion that will bring 31 jobs to its Eddyville campus. The Minneapolis-based company said it would add 110 million gallons of ethanol production to its 1,600-acre southern Iowa facility. It will boost production to 145 million gallons per year.

Principal and Cargill both requested state tax credits: Principal, $2.67 million; Cargill, $4.9 million.

“It’s a great day for the state of Iowa,” said Culver.

Newton was at the center of today’s incentives package: Rhode Island-based TPI Composites snagged $2 million in forgivable loans.

The state also approved a $100,000 loan for Midwest Manufacturing in Kellogg in Jasper County. The gear maker pledged to create 20 jobs.

TPI, a composite manufacturer, expects to create 723 jobs that would pay an average of $13.47 an hour.

Culver said the state incentives edged Newton in front of the competition for the $56.3 million project.

“That was the crucial message,” said Sen. Dennis Black, D-Grinnell. Officials have said Newton is one of three U.S. cities TPI is considering as well as a location in Mexico.

State and city leaders expect to hear whether Newton has won the project in two months.

Other projects getting state incentives included Target Corp.’s $86 million distribution center in Cedar Falls and $75 million expansion by Red Star Yeast in Cedar Rapids.

Principal previously announced plans to open an on-site child care center on a hillside north of its headquarters in downtown Des Moines.


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