Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Standard Precast Plans to Expand

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Standard Precast Plans to Expand

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Brune Mathis, Times-Union senior business writer

Following the path of several other Jacksonville manufacturers, Standard Precast Inc. intends to expand to accommodate a growing market.

The almost 40-year-old company, created in 1964, has a contract to buy 50 acres in the Westlake Industrial Park. Standard Precast would relocate from about 10 acres at 11340 Philips Highway, not far from The Avenues mall, and sell that property upon the move.

Westlake, owned by Norfolk Southern Corp., is 4 miles west of Interstate 295 and sits along Pritchard Road. The 5,000-acre industrial park is 2 miles north of I-10.

Standard Precast makes products like storm drains, manholes and box culverts for underground utility contractors. Such contractors frequently work with governments and cities, including Jacksonville, which is making road repairs and expansions through the $2.2 billion Better Jacksonville Plan. The contractors also work on private projects like residential subdivisions.

Vice President Russell Smith said privately held Standard Precast wants to buy the land by January or February and complete the first phase by the end of 2004. He said Dana B. Kenyon Co. is the general contractor and he estimates the project and land at $6 million to $10 million.

"We will expand as we move over there. We've actually been looking for land the past years," he said. The company found property in Clay and St. Johns counties but wanted to stay in Duval, he said.

Smith said that Standard Precast's business has grown annually. It works with utility contractors throughout Florida and into Georgia. He said that the Better Jacksonville plan "improved our work" as it did other for other contractors.

Standard Precast employs 95 to 99 people, he said. Smith said the company has been adding eight to 10 employees a year and expects to increase staff after the move. …

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