A company that makes molded plastics plans on building a factory in Mankato and hiring 125 people to operate it, perhaps this fall.

The Planning Commission approved on Wednesday a plan for Imperial Plastics, Inc., to build its 69,120-square-foot facility at the intersection of County Road 3 and Power Drive in Eastwood Industrial Park. The body also approved a re-zone of the parcel to light industrial, though the City Council will have to approve both actions at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Norman Oberto, the company’s president, said they’d like to start construction in late spring and finish this fall.

The property includes enough extra space for the factory to double in size; Oberto said they could also double their workforce in time.

He said Imperial Plastics is a Lakeville-based custom molder that designs and fabricates components for their customers. Their products include fasteners, electrical connectors and fittings for use in machines such as ATVs.

The company was founded in 1968 and employs about 525 people.

Oberto said Mankato was chosen because it is close to Lakeville and the company believed it could tap and develop a skilled workforce in the region. He said the city has been supportive of their decision to expand here.

If approved by the City Council, the property will be annexed into Mankato. As is standard, the developer could either donate 5 percent of the land for parks or pay the city for the value of the land instead. It chose to pay, in this case $21,872.

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