The manufacturer of air-conditioning units for the military plans to relocate to Deerwood Center by October.
Snowbird Technologies Inc. intends to invest about $500,000 to relocate its Southside business to the Charleston Building in Deerwood Center.
Owner and CEO Scott Morse said July 21 the company expects to move from Victor Street and operate at 7749 Bayberry Road in Deerwood Center by Oct. 1.
It now operates in four buildings at 4874 Victor St. off Powers Avenue near Philips Highway, University Boulevard West and St. Augustine Road.
“Basically, we are consolidating the four locations into one so everything can be in one place,” Morse said.
Deerwood Center is off Philips Highway and Baymeadows Way West.
Snowbird Technologies makes air-conditioning units for the military that can withstand extreme weather conditions, long term and in all environments, such as heat, sand, dust, saltwater and fog.
Morse expects $10 million in sales this year, up “significantly” from last year.
The company also sells parts, which generates profits if U.S. Department of Defense contracts are slow.
“There is no real way to predict it, other than to get your equipment specified on more projects,” he said.
Morse said Snowbird has “a very healthy spare parts business.”
“Even if we are not building units, the company is profitable based on spare parts sales,” he said.
Morse bought Snowbird, founded in 1992 in Jacksonville, in 2013.
He said the move provides slightly more space and also a 22-foot dock-high ceiling that allows Snowbird to expand its product line.
Snowbird employs about 20 people, of which 15 are production technicians who build the units. Snowbird buys the components and assembles and tests them in the Jacksonville facility.
“Our units are deployed by every military service and they are deployed all around the world,” Morse said. He said thousands are used globally.
Some products can withstand temperatures up to 135 degrees, according to the Snowbird website.
The city is reviewing a permit application for G.F. Florida Operating Alpha Inc. to renovate about 38,000 square feet of space for Snowbird Technologies at a cost of $365,000.
G.F. Florida Charleston LLC owns the building. Lane Architecture is the architect.
Morse said he was with an HVAC company in Chicago when he found that Snowbird was for sale.
“I was looking for something like that to acquire. I became intrigued by it,” he said. He said he moved from Chicago to Jacksonville in 2013.
He also bought Kansas City, Kansas-based Spicin Foods Inc., which makes sauces, salsas and drink mixes.
The website says he began his career at GE Capital and subsequently held management and executive positions in other large lending institutions, including Bankers Trust and Bank One Corp.
His bio says he held the position of head of Structured Finance for Standard Chartered Bank in London and has a background in operating middle-market companies and in corporate finance.
He has been the president of two refrigeration component manufacturing firms, Henry Technologies and A-1 Components.
The move to Deerwood Center is 4 miles south of the Victor Street location.
“We’ve done very well, so it’s been very positive,” Morse said.