The Council on Development Finance has approved funding for three projects – two companies expanding in Wilmington and a company expanding in Bear – presented by Delaware Property Partnership and its respective partners.
Eastern Highway Specialists
The 17-year-old highway and bridge construction company works projects throughout the region and generates approximately $14 million in annual revenue. The company has outgrown their current space on Church Street in Wilmington, and has purchased a 4-acre brownfield site at 3604 Downing Drive in Northeast Wilmington. Eastern Highway Specialists is investing nearly $4 million into the Downing Drive property and plans to build a 21,000-square-foot shop and office for its new headquarters and operations. There also will be room to build two more buildings on the property in the future. The project includes repaving and upgrading the public infrastructure along Downing Drive, which will benefit other existing employers and landowners.
As part of the project, EHS will create up to 17 new positions, bringing its employee count to 66 over the next three years. The City of Wilmington Economic Development Office has been instrumental in helping the company navigate infrastructure and development issues in getting the site ready for the expansion.
“This project will help EHS move into our next step of growth as a company,” said EHS owners Bob and Clair Field. “As native Wilmingtonians, we are also excited to stay in Wilmington and contribute to the economic wellbeing of the City of Wilmington.”
Advantage Building Supply
Advantage Building Supply Corp., a construction materials supplier, and Zulu Fire Doors LLC are expanding their operations to Delaware from New Jersey. The privately owned company will operate three different entities at its recently acquired location at 1400 E. 12th St. in the City of Wilmington. One entity will manufacture metal doors, a second will manufacture wood doors and the third will distribute construction materials. Advantage Building Supply Corp. was created in 2005 and currently has operations in Paterson, N.J., and Bronx, N.Y.
With plans to be operational in mid-2021, Advantage Building Supply and its associated entities are planning to invest over $8 million, including acquisition costs and upgrades to the existing buildings, and plans to employ 118 people over the next three years at the Wilmington location.
The City of Wilmington Economic Development Office has been involved with helping the company navigate local regulations and requirements. Advantage Building Supply was attracted to Wilmington because of the site’s location near Interstate 495, potential rail service and access to labor. The Delaware location will serve customers in the multi-state region.
AWSM Solutions Delaware
Coming to Bear is the new AWSM Solutions Delaware. The Royale Group, Royale Pigments and Chemicals, Shorechem and the AWSM group of companies, a New Jersey-based collection of specialty chemical companies with expertise in distributing, manufacturing, importing, transportation, warehousing and consulting, acquired IMS Chemblend of Bear. After the acquisition, the Royale Group changed the name of the company to AWSM Solutions Delaware. The company sees the acquisition as an opportunity to expand the Royale Group brand and to build on the success of IMS Chemblend. It is now considering expanding operations at the Bear facility by purchasing new equipment and potentially expanding the location by 20,000 square feet. It also is planning on moving its corporate headquarters to the facility.
The company has been working with New Castle County on the improvements and potential expansion. The expansion will allow the company to better serve the specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, janitorial and retail markets.
The Royale Group plans on investing $1 million in capital at the Bear facility as well as adding 17 new jobs. The new positions will include skilled operator positions, product managers, account managers, sales, marketing, environmental health and safety staff and senior management.