CalStar has reached an agreement with Columbus Lowndes Development LINK to open its newest manufacturing facility in Columbus, Miss. The deal closed June 3, and the plant is expected to open for production in Q1 or Q2 2014.
CalStar has taken ownership of a 100,000-square-foot shell building on 23 acres inthe Golden Triangle Industrial Park in Columbus, located in east-central Mississippi near the Alabama border; build-out of the facility will begin mid-summer. An initial staff of 17 employees is anticipated to increase to almost 60 during a three-year period.
“Situated to supply the entire Gulf Coast region from Texas to the Florida panhandle, the new Columbus facility will enable us to meet growing product demand in the nation’s largest brick market within a smaller delivery radius,” says Michael Telischak, VP of manufacturing for CalStar. “This means quicker turnaround times on orders and reduced freight costs, further contributing to our products’ existing economic advantages versus traditional masonry.”
The plant will produce the full line of CalStar’s sustainably manufactured masonry products currently available from its Caledonia, Wis., facility, including bricks, pavers, and Thru-Wall units, and will feature expanded capabilities for trim and accent shapes through the inclusion of an automated cast stone production line. Existing color offerings will be available, along with additions to the color palette made possible by the use of regional materials.
“I am grateful to the CalStar team for selecting Columbus as the home of its new manufacturing operations. I know our skilled workforce and our favorable business climate will help guarantee the company enjoys years of success in Lowndes County,” says Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. “CalStar’s decision to locate in our state reinforces the fact that ‘Mississippi Works!’”
“CalStar is undergoing rapid, exciting changes as we continue to expand our product offerings and grow our manufacturing footprint,” says CalStar CEO Joel Rood. “Columbus is an ideal setting for the new plant, with a central location in the South, an able labor force, and strong government and business leadership. We’re thrilled to call Columbus our new second home.”
CalStar masonry products incorporate up to 37 percent recycled content and eliminate the need for kiln-firing, typical of traditional clay brick, or the use of Portland cement, used to bind concrete masonry products. As a result, each product requires up to 81 percent less energy to make while emitting up to 84 percent less CO2. This dramatic reduction in environmental footprint comes with no sacrifice to aesthetics or performance, and the raw material and energy savings actually equate to more affordable per-unit costs.
“We are pleased to welcome CalStar to Lowndes County,” says Harry Sanders, president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors. “We look forward to a successful relationship with a great company.”
The plant opening comes on the heels of an expansion at CalStar’s Caledonia manufacturing facility, which added a second shift in May.