Thursday, December 18, 2008

Business Park welcomes first resident

The City of Lewisburg’s Business Park on Mooresville Highway will soon see construction to house its first resident, U.S. Tank and Cryogenic Equipment.
The company will be making a move from Florida to Lewisburg after construction of a 58,000 sq. ft. facility on 10 acres of property in the Business Park is completed. Construction of the new facility is expected by mid-October.
Jim Brown, owner of U.S. Tank and Cryogenic Equipment, started the business 14 years ago after serving 24 years on a submarine in the Navy. The Columbia, Tennessee native retired from the Navy and spent time at M.I.T. studying more about liquid oxygen before starting his business in Florida. The company has grown to become the largest independent cryogenic tank repair company in the United States with a clientele of national home medical companies.
“We repair and refurbish between 450 and 500 tanks a month,” Brown said.
Brown added that he is currently in talks with more clients and expects to be refurbishing and repairing between 1,000 to 1,500 tanks per month by the time the company is up and running in Lewisburg’s Business Park. Brown employs thirty workers at his company in Florida but expects to hire a larger workforce after moving to Lewisburg.
“Once we get running, we will probably hire about 90 to 100 folks,” Brown said.
Brown said he is looking forward to the move to Lewisburg and is excited about the construction of a new facility in the Business Park.
“I think it will be an asset to your Business Park and the City of Lewisburg,” Brown said. “The building is a nice building.”
Richard Williams serves as the architect of the facility that will be constructed with brick façade and a red, white and blue theme. Brown told the Lewisburg Industrial Development Board at its meeting Monday that he may plan an additional 25,000 sq. ft. to the original facility in the future.
“The 50,000 sq. ft. is almost too small before we even move into it,” Brown said.
Brown is the father of three children who work in the company and the grandfather of three children, two girls ages 3 and one boy age 2.
“We are a family company,” Brown said. “We all plan on living in the Lewisburg area. My kids are real excited about coming back here.”
Brown said that he chose Lewisburg because it is a wonderful community with a great school system for his grandchildren and because of the cooperation he has received from the City of Lewisburg and the members of the Industrial Development Board.
“I wish I had done this five or six years ago,” Brown said. “I thank you for letting me come here.”
The City of Lewisburg and the Industrial Development Board began working with Brown and his company on the project back in February. The project with the company is part of a 10-year pilot program created by the City of Lewisburg and the Industrial Development Board in which the City will loan U.S. Tank and Cryogenic Equipment $100,000 to help with the moving expenses from Florida. The pilot program was created to help businesses and industries choose to locate in the City’s Business Park with its access to I-65 and City services.
“We think this project will really get the ball rolling in our Business Park,” said Chairman of the Industrial Development Board Eddie Wiles. “We are very excited about Mr. Brown’s decision to relocate to Lewisburg.”
“I applaud the work of the Industrial Development Board, former Industrial Recruiter John Hatfield, ECD Director Terry Wallace and City Manager Eddie Fuller on making this possible,” said Lewisburg Mayor Bob Phillips. “I believe this is the start we needed to make the Business Park a great addition to the landscape and the economy of the City.”
After meeting with Brown and finalizing preliminary resolutions, the Industrial Development Board voted unanimously to approve the $100,000 loan to U.S. Tank and the issuance of a $2 million industrial revenue bond purchased by Community First Bank and Trust of Columbia. The preliminary resolutions were passed on to the Lewisburg City Council for final approval at the April 10 meeting and were approved 4-0.
Bidding for contractors of the building project is underway and groundbreaking on the first tenant of the Lewisburg Business Park is expected soon.

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