A decade after coming to Wichita, Viega is moving its headquarters to Denver.
The plumbing and heating systems manufacturer has 113 employees in its corporate office, which is on the sixth floor of the Ruffin Building at Douglas and Broadway.
“Every one of them is offered a job in Denver,” says general counsel Jess Arbuckle.
“Wichita’s been a great home for Viega for the last 10 years,” he says. “Kansas remains a critical part of our growth plan.”
The company is keeping its manufacturing facility in McPherson, where it has about 200 employees.
“We’re in the process of just concluding a major new building there to house more manufacturing facilities,” Arbuckle says of the McPherson facility. “It’s very important to the company and the growth of the company.”
He says the transition “will be completed at the end of 2017, so it will be an ongoing process.”
Viega came from a small operation in the Boston area after purchasing the piping systems businesses of Vanguard Piping Systems and Midtec in McPherson in 2006.
The company left the Epic Center for the Ruffin Building not quite a year and a half ago.
Arbuckle says he can’t address why the company is making two moves so quickly.
“I don’t really have a comment on that,” he says.
“We actually hired a feasibility company to conduct a nationwide study,” Arbuckle says of where the company should be. “The Denver area came back as the best fit.”
He says the corporate staff will be more accessible to customers, vendors and regional staff.
Arbuckle says Denver also is a major business center that will help Viega attract more employees.
He would not say whether attracting potential employees to Wichita was an issue.
“That’s all I’m willing to stay at this time.”
According to a January Denver Post story, Viega has “received approval for $223,380 in incentives for 20 jobs at a proposed product training center in Broomfield,” which is part of the Denver metropolitan area.
“They’re not related,” Arbuckle says of the 20 jobs.
He won’t discuss the incentives beyond that or say whether the company sought any in Wichita.
“I’ve told you all I can talk to you about.”
Arbuckle says there may be more information later.
“Could be. We’ll see.”
At one time, Viega planned to move its headquarters to the Waterfront at 13th and Webb Road, where it purchased property to the east of Homewood Suites by Hilton at the Waterfront.
The company still owns the land. Arbuckle isn’t sure what’s going to happen with it.
“That’s yet to be determined.”