After sitting empty and unfinished since Lannett halted construction two years ago, Cody Laboratories on Road 2AB will finally see completion.
But the property surrounded by chain-link fence in Cody’s North Industrial Park will not serve as a production facility for generic prescription painkillers as originally intended. Instead, Kanye West plans to use the abandoned facility to manufacture his Yeezy clothing and shoe brands, according to revised commercial site plans.
On Tuesday, in a 5-0 vote, the City of Cody Planning and Zoning Board approved modified plans for the Yeezy Apparel manufacturing conversion submitted by Engineering Associates. Serving as consulting engineers and surveyors, the Cody firm represented Yeezy Apparel along with Forward Cody and Cody Labs, owners of the adjoining property formerly intended for Cody Labs at 119 and 125 Road 2AB.
A Yeezy spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for more information about the Yeezy Apparel manufacturing plans such as number of employees, expected start date and types of apparel manufactured.
Yeezy site plans, though, specify 51 paved parking spaces, two of which are ADA spaces.
According to a written P&Z agenda summary by Todd Stowell, city planner, parking spaces are based on number of employees.
“As growth occurs, the parking area could be expanded to the east,” he wrote.
Move to Cody
West is a 43-year-old Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, record producer, composer, entrepreneur and fashion designer.
In 2019, his Yeezy fashion company partnered with German sportswear brand Adidas to make shoes. More recently, West announced a partnership with Gap, an American worldwide clothing and accessories retailer.
In November, West said he would move the headquarters of his billion-dollar shoe and clothing company to West Lake, the former 4,000-acre Monster Lake Ranch south of Cody directly off the Meeteetse Highway.
Yeezy headquarters had been in Calabasas, Calif., home to West and his wife Kim Kardashian West, an American reality star, socialite, model and businesswoman. The couple have four young children.
When West announced the move, he said he would eventually move his company’s manufacturing to the U.S.; however, he did not specify plans to manufacture his Yeezy brand in Cody.
Yeezy Apparel, a limited liability company, was filed with the Wyoming Secretary of State on Dec. 9. It’s one of four Yeezy LLCs in Wyoming.
P&Z members review site plans for the outside of a commercial building, and board approval clears the way for the city to issue a building permit.
According to Engineer Associates’ Yeezy Cody Phase 1 plans, the interconnected Cody Labs buildings are labeled for production and production support. There’s a production corridor and shipping area and a receiving dock attached to Forward Cody’s warehouse.
Much of the Cody Labs design will be followed with some changes so the site fits Yeezy’s use of the facility. Approved site work will mainly consist of landscaping, outside concrete, gravel roads and driveways and an asphalt parking lot.
“The site plan modifications primarily relate to removal of items that are not needed for the new use, rearranging parking and utilities, and slightly modified site grading,” reads Stowell’s summary report.
An extension to the front of the building originally intended for offices is no longer proposed. Instead, Yeezy offices will go inside the structure.
“It seems to me the heavy lifting was done when Cody Labs was built,” Richard Jones, P&Z member, said. “This is just adjustments to make (new) conditions fit.”
A narrative by Engineering Associates civil engineer Bret Reed says Yeezy Apparel has retained Cushing Terrell Architects – with a Billings office – and Groathouse Construction in Cody to finish construction of the Cody Labs building and site on Road 2AB.