Whirlpool To Consolidate Offices In Michigan

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Whirlpool Corp. will build a new campus in its hometown of Benton Harbor, Mich., over the next five years for a total cost of about $85 million.

The company said it is consolidating 15 owned and leased facilities to three campuses. It figures the project will cost about $85 million, though it is evaluating several proposals so the exact cost is not known. Whirlpool said it expects one-third of the cost will come from incentives from the state and local governments.

Its offices will be consolidated to the new three-building campus downtown plus Whirlpool's Hilltop Drive South offices in St. Joseph and its Harbor Town offices in Benton Harbor.

Whirlpool Corp., the world's largest appliance maker, said it will be able to reduce operating costs and drive productivity with the changes. The company said the new buildings will also be more energy-efficient.

CEO Jeff M. Fettig said the company has more than 4,000 employees at the existing facilities and has outgrown its space.

Shares of Whirlpool fell $2.05, or 2 percent, to $93.63 in midday trading Thursday.

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