The LEGO Group has announced the program lead and general contractor for the new Virginia factory location. Starting in April, Preben Elnef will be leading the project which includes the factory construction and opening. Elnef was previously at the Vietnam factory location where it is scheduled to begin production next year.

The company has also named Gray|Hourigan as general contractor who will prepare the location to start work later this year.

If you’re local and are interested in working at the factory, make sure you check out the dedicated hiring page to see what LEGO will be offering.

The LEGO Group announces program lead and appoints general contractor at its Virginia, USA site

Preben Elnef named permanent program lead.

Gray|Hourigan selected as general contractor.

Virginia, USA, February 15, 2024: The LEGO Group today announced it has appointed a permanent program lead and general contractor as it advances work on its more than US $1 billion manufacturing site in Chesterfield County, near Richmond, Virginia.

Preben Elnef named permanent program leader

Preben Elnef will assume program leadership from April 2024, and will be responsible for all aspects of the project, including the factory’s construction and opening. He takes on this new role after three years with the company’s Vietnam business, where he established an operating unit and oversaw the construction of the company’s second new factory, which is scheduled to begin production in 2025.

Preben has worked for the LEGO Group for the past 10 years and brings extensive experience leading large-scale investment projects and expertise in engineering, supply chain, and facilities management in both the private and public sector.

Gray|Hourigan appointed general contractor

The company also announced it has engaged Gray|Hourigan, a joint venture between industry leader Gray and Richmond, Virginia-based Hourigan, for general contracting services. Gray|Hourigan will manage deep foundation and continued site preparation works this year to put the LEGO Group on the path toward its production start targets.

The appointment of a general contractor marks a significant milestone for the program. Since breaking ground in spring 2023, the company initiated site readiness, continued design work, and opened a temporary packing facility in Colonial Heights, Virginia in October 2023, where it employs over 200 people. The external packing site opened ahead of schedule and plays an important role in meeting consumer demand in the United States.
Group photo

The company expects construction of the factory buildings to begin later this year and full production to commence in 2027, around 12 months later than originally planned. The company remains committed to creating over 1,760 jobs over the next ten years.

Carsten Rasmussen, Chief Operations Officer said: “We are pleased with the progress we’re making with our investment in Virginia and grateful for the continued support from the local community. We are excited Preben has agreed to become the program leader, where the team will benefit from his recent experience establishing our presence in Vietnam and building our second new factory. We are looking forward to partnering with Gray|Hourigan to commence construction work and retain the good momentum we’re seeing across the site.”

Preben Elnef, Vice President and LEGO Manufacturing Richmond Program Lead said: “I am excited to join the team. This is an important program in support of our mission to inspire and develop kids across the Americas region for generations to come. It is also a step towards operating more sustainably, as we’re building a site designed to minimize energy use. I look forward to continuing our important partnerships in the local community to bring play to more children in Virginia.”

About Preben Elnef

Preben Elnef oversees the end-to-end program to build LEGO Manufacturing Richmond, the LEGO Group’s state-of-the-art factory in Chesterfield, Virginia, slated to open in 2027. Preben also serves in a global role for the company as Vice President, Workplace Solutions & Operations. Previously, Preben was Vice President and General Manager for LEGO Manufacturing Vietnam, the LEGO Group’s manufacturing campus located outside Ho Chi Minh City. He joined the LEGO Group in 2013 as Vice President, Corporate Facility.

Prior to joining the LEGO Group, Preben served as Head of the Technical Division of International Service System (ISS) A/S and was a member of the ISS Denmark Executive Management Team. Earlier in his career, he was Head of Infrastructure for the Danish military. Preben earned engineering and business degrees from Syddansk Universitet in Denmark.

About Gray|Hourigan

Gray|Hourigan, a joint venture between industry leader Gray and Richmond, Virginia-based Hourigan, is a leader in sustainable industrial facility design. Gray|Hourigan is committed to delivering the tools and expertise to execute a world-class project for the LEGO Group while upholding the highest standards in environmental sustainability, diversity/equity, and community engagement.

Our teams are industry leaders in green building certification, process and packaging systems engineering, automation & integrated controls, custom equipment manufacturing, and more to support any future campus initiatives. The timeless values that serve as the foundation of the Gray|Hourigan team are anchored by our shared belief that our customers, communities, and teams deserve projects that improve quality of life, showcase innovation and excellence, and contribute to an equitable, sustainable future for all.

The LEGO Group in the USA

• The LEGO Group has had a presence in the USA since its American entity, LEGO Systems Inc., was established in 1973 over 50 years ago.
• Americas Headquarters in Enfield, CT since 1975. Moving to Boston, MA in 2026.
• The LEGO Group employs more than 3,000 people in the USA.
• The company operates over 100 LEGO stores across the USA, including four stores in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a flagship store on 5th Ave, New York City.

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