Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Once-Small Boat Maker Goes Corporate

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Once-Small Boat Maker Goes Corporate

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

When Tim Turbeville started building small fishing boats by hand more than 20 years ago in Green Cove Springs, he didn't know that his skills one day would lead him into the corporate world.

But that's what has happened, as he gradually built up his business under the name Creek Craft Boats during the past two decades at Reynolds Industrial Park on Florida 16 across from the Port of Green Cove Springs.

Recently, the name underwent a slight change to Creek Craft Boats Inc. after Turbeville's wife, LeeAnne, incorporated the business and obtained a loan from Heritage Bank in Orange Park and the Small Business Administration to construct a 16,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and office building.

Their new $450,000 enterprise is about a quarter of a mile up the road from their existing leased property. The couple paid the Clay County Development Authority $150,000 for a 2-acre site formerly occupied by a cabinet manufacturer until the building burned down almost two years ago.

Tim Turbeville, who has lived in Clay County for 30 years, said he provides the technical boat-building expertise, while his wife, whom he met three years ago and married a year later, runs the business.

"She is the corporation," he said. "She's the president and CEO."

The couple signed the final closing documents on the property March 11 and immediately hired JM Builders of Green Cove Springs to construct the all-steel building, which will include 6,000 square feet of office/retail space and a showroom to display their boat models.

The development authority had purchased the property several years ago from Carpenter Shoe, the original owner, and later leased it to R&J Co., which made cabinets as bases for large fish tanks. The property had remained vacant since the original building was destroyed by fire.

"We put them in touch with the SBA to assist them in this expansion program," said Danita Andrews, economic development manager for the economic development authority. "I know he was excited about getting his own place. …

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