A company that designs and manufactures commercial furniture in Maumee plans to build a new North American headquarters and factory in Monclova Township, creating at least 70 jobs over the next three years.
Allermuir makes modern, European-styled seating and tables primarily for restaurants, boutique hotels, and corporate offices. Officials said the company — a subsidiary of one of the United Kingdom’s largest furniture companies — has enjoyed strong growth since establishing its Maumee operation in 2007.
“We hit the market at the right time,” Allermuir president Mark Brettschneider said. “There’s a lot of companies going through transitions of trying to have an open area where they can get more teamwork, people sharing ideas, people interacting with each other, and nobody really wants to work in a closed-cubicle office anymore.”
Mr. Brettschneider said sales were up 30 percent last year alone, but a lack of space has prevented more growth. The company sells across North America and does some export business. All production is done in Maumee.
Working through Rudolph/Libbe Inc., Allermuir recently spent $1.3 million to purchase 37 acres of land in Monclova Township that had been owned by the city of Toledo. At the time, the buyer of that land, which is in the Triad Business Park and near Dana Holding Corp.’s headquarters, was a closely kept secret.
Officials from Allermuir and Rudolph/Libbe detailed the expansion plans to The Blade on Monday.
Allermuir plans to be in its new 100,000-square-foot facility by the beginning of next year. An additional 150,000 square feet are planned within the next three years.
Walbridge-based Rudolph/Libbe, which helped with the site selection, will be the general contractor on the project.
Mr. Brettschneider declined to say how much Allermuir would spend on the project, but city officials told council the company planned to invest $10 million at the Monclova Township site.
Council was also told that the state had put together an incentive package to entice Allermuir to stay in Ohio. Details of the package, which was negotiated in part by the Regional Growth Partnership, were not disclosed.
“There’s nothing I can share right now as far as specifics on that,” RGP spokesman John Gibney said. “It’s contingent on approval from the [Ohio] Tax Credit Authority. Until that happens I can’t share any more details.”
The Triad Business Park is a joint economic development zone between Toledo, Maumee, and Monclova Township. The three subdivisions will evenly split the proceeds from a 1.5 percent income tax.
John Jezak, Maumee city administrator, said the city is not likely to lose any revenue in the deal.
“This one appears to be a win, win, win for everybody,” he said. “Any vacancy Allermuir leaves behind will probably be quickly filled, as we’ve had a lot of demand on vacant industrial and office space in the last 24 months or so.”
Mr. Brettschneider said Allermuir will add at least 70 jobs, but hopes to add more.
Currently the company has about 50 employees in manufacturing and another 13 in administration.
Though the work is often very detailed, Mr. Brett-chneider said the company hasn’t had trouble finding employees.
“We’re willing to put the hours of training in to teach them what we do. This region, there’s a good supply of people who are talented from a manufacturing aspect.”
Mr. Brettschneider was instrumental in bringing the company to the area in 2007. A furniture industry veteran and southeastern Michigan native, Mr. Brettschneider said he had a long relationship with the English company and believed it would do well to have a U.S.-based operation. The two firms are connected but are separate corporations.
“We’ve had great growth here,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize we’re here, to be honest. People go ‘where’s this made?’ and I say ‘Ohio!’ A lot of people have outsourced overseas. I’m proud we’ve brought manufacturing into the United States.”
Allermuir’s products are not sold directly to the public, so they don’t have a lot of name recognition outside of designers and architects. However, it’s likely people have seen some of their wares. Mr. Brettschneider said most Best Buy stores use their stools, for example.
Many of their products also slant toward the higher end. In fact, they have a showroom on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
“Fifth Avenue, it really does relate to the image of what the product is,” he said. “But you can't build furniture on Fifth Avenue, you need to build it where people know how to build furniture, and how to build quality products, and this region is good for that.”