KONGSBERG moved their service department from Houston to Louisiana in 2003 establishing a small office in St. James Business Park with 9 full-time employees. Growing together with their local customers, the Louisiana office now has 110 employees occupying 35,000 sq ft of leased office space. KONGSBERG still has its HQ for the US in Houston, TX. The company determined a need to expand its space to accommodate future growth of the service department as well as a new training facility to better serve its growing number of regional customers travelling to Houston for technical training and licensing.
"Despite a low oil price and a downturn in the offshore markets, we believe the market will bounce back as it always does. We believe in the future of the GOM offshore market, this is why we are now investing in a large Louisiana technical support center and a new training facility," stated Kongsberg Maritime Inc. President, Jon Holvik. "Our regional customer base has grown significantly and it is important to continue to offer them the world's best service facilities, close to their operation."
In early 2014, KONGSBERG assembled a team of commercial real estate specialists including David Buescher and Jeff Venghaus of Houston-based JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle) and Richard Juge, president of locally owned RE/MAX Commercial Brokers to assist them with their expansion plans.
"It became apparent that building a new office from the ground up to facilitate Kongsberg Maritime's needs offered the most favorable long-term financial solution," stated John Roberts, JLL Executive Vice President for Project and Development Services.
KONGSBERG closed on the property for an undisclosed amount in mid-December 2014. The 3-story Class A building will be built on approximately 3 acres; the remaining acreage will be reserved for future expansion. The facility will include a 3,800 sq ft state-of-the-art training center, expansive office space to accommodate the company's growing staff to service vessels and offshore facilities in the region, a project department including a lab for Factory Acceptance Testing and a large lab area for internal training of Kongsberg service personnel.
"KONGSBERG has a history of investing and innovating during hard times," stated Holvik. "This building demonstrates KONGSBERG's long-term dedication to providing convenient, world-class products and services to our customers in the region."
St. Charles Parish President . St. Pierre, Jr. added, "I am extremely excited with KONGSBERG's decision to continue to be a member of our business community. The company is the perfect example of the type of business we aspire to attract to St. Charles Parish. It was my top priority to retain them (KONGSBERG) in order to ensure that our residents have the opportunity to gain access to high-paying jobs that add to the diversification of our local economy."