Robot-powered laundry facility could employ 100-plus in San Marcos

Business

SAN MARCOS, Texas (ABJ/KXAN) — A robot-powered commercial laundry facility with an eco-conscious mindset is planned for a high-traffic business park in northern San Marcos.

Cooperative Laundry aims to start renovating a 90,000-square-foot facility at 1225 Fortuna Road in October, with plans to open in spring 2022. The site will employ at least 100 in warehouse space next to a new 1 million-square-foot Amazon distribution facility.

Chad Stockton, the company’s vice president, said Cooperative Laundry uses technology that is “akin to a distribution center with the level of automation,” allowing it to not only clean laundry but also iron, fold, count, label and load it into trucks.

Cooperative Laundry is headquartered in Kearny, New Jersey.

The new innovative business in Central Texas is about 30 minutes outside of Austin in north San Marcos. The City of San Marcos thinks it is going to continue attracting new and innovative businesses like this to the area.

“It fits in with the innovation and the advanced manufacturing and technology that the City of San Marcos has been looking to recruit,” the city’s Economic and Business Development Manager Kelsee Lee said.

Cathy Dillion, owner of the Crystal River Inn in San Marcos, said she feels this will be a game changer for the hotels like hers.

“All day, every day, you’re doing towels and sheets, and doing them over again and doing them over again,” Dillion said.

Dillon said business has picked back up recently, which she attributes to hotel stays being rated one of the safest things to do during a pandemic, per the Texas Medical Association.

Dillion never thought she’d see the day a robot-powered laundry business would come to town.

“The idea that robots might actually fold it — that’s amazing,” Dillon said.

Cooperative Laundry has a TSRA Clean Green Certification, according to Lee. Lee said though majority of the work will be done by robots, all 150 positions will pay least $15 per hour with company benefits.

“100 of those jobs would meet the Hays County average wage,” Lee said.

Lee said a city agreement with the company focuses on sustainability.

The site is in a federally qualified “opportunity zone” — a low-income census tract where a company setting up shop can get tax breaks on capital gains.

The city will also nominate the company for incentives through the state’s “enterprise zone” program, which could offer tax refunds to the tune of about a million dollars based on job creation and other criteria.

To read more, visit Austin Business Journal

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