American Standard confirms big La Vergne plans

Fixtures maker to start 600-job operation late this year
Jul 28, 2015 12:44 PM

NJ company looks to bring 400 jobs to La Vergne

Piscataway, New Jersey-based American Standard Brands has leased a portion of the building located at 1714 Heil Quaker Blvd., the former Whirlpool plant in La Vergne.

According to The Tennessean, the Metro Council will vote on a tax abatement deal Tuesday for $750,000 in property tax abatements over five years, similar to what Oberto Brands got two years ago when it set up a beef jerky processing operation here. American Standard would pay $114,258 a year — the property taxes paid on the building for the 2014 tax year — plus 50 percent of the increase in taxes from improvements.

Building owner Ashley Interchange LLC plans to invest about $22.75 million for improvements. If at some point full-time employment falls below 480, or 80 percent of the 600 jobs the company has promised, American Standard would be required to pay the full tax.

Jul 17, 2015 10:16 AM

August opening set for classic car showroom in La Vergne

Gateway Classic Cars — which bills itself as the world’s largest dealer of antique cars, exotic cars and race cars — is targeting an Aug. 15 opening for an indoor showroom in La Vergne.

The approximately 44,300-square-foot facility, with an address of 320 Tech Park Drive, will feature more than 100 vehicles and will be modeled after the company’s nine existing showrooms in St. Louis, Louisville, Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Tampa, Houston, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

According to a release, Gateway Classic Cars is experiencing significant growth and has projected revenues of $42 million for 2015 and $60 million in 2016.

The company sells vehicles on a consignment basis for private entities, collectors and estates. 



Jul 17, 2015 6:50 AM

Q&A: Warren Hayslip of Quality Industries

Warren Hayslip is president and CEO of La Vergne-based precision metal fabrication company Quality Industries.

With the company about to open a new facility in Texas, Post Managing Editor William Williams caught up with Hayslip (pictured) for a quick chat. 

Quality Industries is prepping for a move to a new facility in Denton, Texas. What will the move entail?

The 86,000-square-foot expansion will increase our production capacity and expand our office space to deliver products and support services to our customers in the Denton area, the state of Texas, and throughout south central and southwestern United States. 

In terms of production capabilities, we will transfer and add a variety of assembly work centers in our new Denton facility and add other metal fabrication technologies — including welding, punching and bending/forming. We expect the plant expansion to be followed by additional investments to further solidify our presence in the Texas area.

Construction is expected to be completed by late November this year, with a move-in date targeted for December. We will start out with about 40 employees, and that employment figure is projected to increase in 2016 as a result of additional capital investments, new product programs and anticipated growth in demand.

Relatedly, there have been changes at your La Vergne headquarters/facility. For example, I understand a recently purchased powder coat system cost $3.7 million. Your industry seemingly requires major capital outlays at various times. What is the QI approach to this?

QI is investing $12.5 million in capital projects and millions of dollars more in equipment and IT improvements.

QI is committed to an aggressive investment policy to strategically position our company for the future. 

Modernization of equipment and related advancements in our technical capabilities are critical elements in our overall investment policy and strategy.

Any personnel updates?

Earlier this year, we named Chris Fann as senior vice president of operations and Gary Carter as vice president of information technology and enterprise transformation. Their leadership experience will be quite valuable, and they will play crucial roles in our expansion and growth efforts.

Further, in addition to our new senior leadership, we are adding talented personnel at the middle- and junior-level ranks of our company. Finally, to strengthen the corporate governance of our company, we are recruiting and adding new outside directors with substantial and diversified experience.

Your 2014 revenues were $92 million. You projected 2015 revenues of $115 million. When does your fiscal year end and what type progress are you making to hit that mark?

We operate on a calendar year basis and are confident that we will achieve our revenue objectives for this year.

What are some of the major challenges currently facing the precision metal fabrication industry?

Filling skilled production positions — such as advanced welders and machine/die/tool technicians — continue to be a challenge for the industry. As a result, vocational and technical training are critical initiatives for our industry’s long-term success.

The Fabricator's 2015 Fab 40 ranks Quality Industries among the nation’s top five metal fabricators. Your thoughts? 

QI’s ranking as one of the largest custom/contract metal fabricators in the U.S. is due to the steady accumulation of leading-edge production capabilities and the employment of experienced employees over the past 40-plus years. 

Today, we feel QI stands out as one of the most diverse metalworks companies in the U.S. — with stamping, punching, laser cutting, bending, roll forming, welding, painting, powder coating, and a wide variety of assembly operations — and a company with an enduring, strategic commitment to quality and operational excellence.

Jun 29, 2015 6:45 AM

MEIKO names Braun as president

La Vergne-based commercial washing equipment manufacturer MEIKO USA announced today it has promoted Markus Braun to president.

Braun (pictured), who most recently oversaw the company's global sales and marketing for cleaning and disinfection appliances, will lead MEIKO's corporate strategy, resource allocation and growth of U.S. market business, according to a release.
Braun joined MEIKO Germany in 1998 as a sales and marketing manager and led the company’s cleaning and disinfection division. His team developed the domestic and international business, representing more than 20 percent of the group’s annual revenue. In other capacities within the company, Braun served as a trustee for the Oscar and Rosel Meier Foundation, the owner of the MEIKO Group.
“MEIKO is a company based on quality and reliability, traits Markus personifies,” Dr. Stefan Scheringer, MEIKO Group CEO, said in the release. “Markus has been a critical member of our senior management team for nearly two decades and consistently demonstrated incredible leadership and the ability to effect valuable change. I am pleased to appoint him to the position of president of MEIKO USA, Inc. and look forward to seeing the positive results as we continue to expand in this important region.”

Born in Germany, Braun has been an active member of the German Healthcare Export Group since 2000 and has served as a member of its board of directors since 2003. He has been repeatedly confirmed to the position of chairman of the organization since 2004. Braun received an engineering degree from the University of Cologne (located in Germany).

“Each market and industry presents its own unique challenges. Over the last several years, I’ve studied the evolution of the U.S. marketplace, particularly as it pertains to environmental issues and healthcare,” said Braun. “I am looking forward to seizing the opportunities that exist here and building upon the strengths of the team. I’m honored and excited to lead a new chapter of growth and expansion for MEIKO USA.”
Founded in 1927 in Germany, MEIKO supplies its commercial washing equipment to health care providers and food service companies in Europe, Canada, Asia, Australia and the U.S.

Jun 24, 2015 12:40 PM

La Vergne metalworking company leases Texas office space

La Vergne-based precision metalworking company Quality Industries Inc. has announced it has signed a long-term lease with WGPB Investments, Ltd., for additional manufacturing and office space in a new building at the Westgate Business Park in Denton, Texas.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in a release.

QI will take 86,500 square feet.

Construction of the new facility is expected to be completed in early October, with a move in date targeted for November. The facility will have 40-plus QI employees in the fall, a figure that is projected to increase substantially in 2016 based on additional capital investments, new product programs, and anticipated growth in demand, the company said.

“This significant expansion in our manufacturing and office facilities will strengthen our supply chain capacities and services for our customers in the Denton area, the state of Texas, and throughout south central and southwestern United States," Warren Hayslip, Quality Industries CEO and president, said in the release. "We expect the expansion will be followed with additional investments to further solidify our presence in Texas and expand into other parts of North America.”

The development team for the project includes The Martino Group as developer, Links Construction as general contractor, and project leasing with Axis Realty Group. Avison Young represented the tenant on the lease agreement.

May 6, 2015 6:45 AM

Prologis pays $2.35M for La Vergne site

Prologis, the largest owner of industrial properties in the Nashville market, has paid $2.35 million for 18 acres in La Vergne, Nashville Business Journal reports.

NBJ cites multiple real estate sources as saying Prologis plans to develop two buildings, each in the 150,000 to 200,000 square feet range.

The land is located in the CentrePointe Distribution Park.

Read more here.

Mar 18, 2015 9:45 AM

Quality Industries adds two VPs

Manufacturing industry vets join La Vergne-based company
Feb 26, 2015 1:18 PM

TDS rolls out 1Gig Internet service

TDS Telecom is making available superfast Internet service to its customers in Mt. Juliet and La Vergne. At 1 gigabit per second, the service is about 100 times faster than the national average speed. Wisconsin-based TDS is offering the service as part of its TDS TV package.

Dec 3, 2014 8:38 AM

La Vergne Whirlpool facility sells for $4.65M

Ashley Capital has purchased Whirlpool’s former manufacturing facility in La Vergne for $4.65 million.

It is the real estate investment company’s first acquisition in the Nashville area, according to The Tennessean.

Ashley will seek manufacturing and distribution tenants for the building, located at 1714 Heil Quaker Blvd. After renovations, the building will have 775,000 square feet of space available for lease. Three short-term tenants currently occupy about 100,000 square feet in the building, which sits on almost 53 acres, the newspaper reports.

Ashley’s strategy is to create value by acquiring and developing under-performing industrial and office properties, developing and managing new business parks, helping corporations reposition their real estate holdings and advising clients on asset enhancement, according to the company’s website.

The New York-based company was founded in 1984 and has offices in Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Norfolk, Virginia. It has about 22 million square feet of space in its portfolio, the website notes.

Whirlpool announced in January 2008 that it was closing its refrigerator factory in La Vergne, cutting 500 jobs and moving the work to a plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Jul 3, 2014 11:21 AM