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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jul. 22, 202103:10 PM EST

City permits $1.5 million Eastern Wire renovation

The Jacksonville-based company is buying and remodeling a Northwest Jacksonville building.

The city issued a permit July 21 for North Coast Construction to renovate space for Eastern Wire Products Inc. in Northwest Jacksonville at a cost of almost $1.53 million.

Eastern Wire is buying and renovating a building at 5414 Vernon Road, also listed as 5415 Longleaf St., with the help of a pending city grant and loan totaling $250,000.

The Jacksonville-based company makes steel wire and related products. 

It now leases part of a multitenant building and is buying a 78,000-square-foot structure that needs to be upgraded.

Wrist Ship Supply Co. has about five years remaining on a lease there for 21,200 square feet of space. Eastern Wire would occupy the remaining space and expand when the Wrist lease expires or if the lease is terminated.

The city Office of Economic Development asked the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee on June 21 to authorize the introduction of a resolution to City Council on July 27 to provide the incentives.

The resolution authorizes the mayor to execute an economic development agreement with Eastern Wire Products.

According to a project summary by the economic development office, Eastern Wire proposes to invest $4.46 million into the project.

That amount comprises almost $3.06 million for the site acquisition and demolition, $522,239 into infrastructure improvements; $645,242 in building renovations; and $239,424 in machinery and equipment purchases.

The Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Advisory Committee approved a request for the assistance.

Eastern Wire requests a $100,000 Northwest Economic Development Fund Business Infrastructure Grant and a $150,000 Small Business Development Initiative loan amortized over 20 years with a balloon payment of $86,153 due at the end of the 10th year.

That loan would be subordinate to the $3.79 million first mortgage loan provided by Wells Fargo Bank guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) Program.

Eastern Wire proposes to finance the $4.46 million project with the first mortgage, the grant and second mortgage and by $421,190 from the company’s principals.

The company employs 42 full-time employees at an average wage of $38,000 plus benefits. The summary says Eastern Wire estimates the expansion will result in another 10 jobs within three years at an average $32,500 a year after the building is bought and renovated.

The summary says the company, founded in 1991, has been leasing part of a building at 5301 W. Fifth St.

To expand and better control costs, the company wants to buy the building that was built in 1964 between Longleaf Street and Vernon Road.

The economic development office summary says the building needs significant upgrades to meet building code requirements and be retrofitted for manufacturing.

Eastern Wire’s products are made to support the recycling and construction industries. Its customers primarily are east of the Mississippi River. 

Eastern Wire says the cost to upgrade the building and install infrastructure is a material factor in its site decision.

“EWP prefers to remain in Northwest Jacksonville and upgrade the building to meet health and safety codes and their manufacturing infrastructure needs,” the summary says.

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