Companies in former PPG plant hope to open by January

CHESWOLD — Companies set to occupy the former PPG paint plant and bring more than 100 jobs with them have ramped up hirings and plan to be fully operational by January, Kent Economic Partnership Executive Director Linda Parkowski said this week.

Utah-based National Vinyl Products (also known as Duratec) and Shoreline Vinyl Systems of Denton, Maryland, formed 1886 Dover LLC and purchased the facility for $4.25 million Jan. 23, according to documents filed with the state, and Kent County records. The 173,000-square-foot facility is at 1886 Lynnbury Woods Road, near U.S. 13, north of Cheswold.

In addition to the two companies, USA Fulfillment Services, a logistics company from Chestertown, Maryland, will lease space at the building for warehousing, Ms. Parkowski said.

The 1886 Dover LLC group received a certificate of formation Nov. 20, 2019, according to state documents. The building had been vacant since earlier that year, when PPG shuttered its plant, the KEP said.

Bringing the companies to the Dover area was a coordinated effort between the KEP, county and state, who worked together on recruiting, tax abatements and grants to secure the deal, Ms. Parkowski said.

Kent County Levy Court also provided a $75,000 grant and 10-year tax abatement for the venture, the KEP said.

A bond issuance of up to $10 million through Wells Fargo bank is available to support the cost of acquiring the building and buying manufacturing equipment, Ms. Parkowski said. The Council on Development Finance recommended the bonding in its June meeting.

Following a 36-page application to the Delaware Economic Development Authority (chaired by the Delaware Division of Small Business), the CDF also approved $268,823 in grants for the project from the Delaware Strategic Fund, according to documents.

When announcing the project in a news release, the KEP noted that National Vinyl Products will employ 80 workers in a “new state-of-the-art extrusion plant.”

The hirees will include “equipment operators, quality control and plant/equipment maintenance personnel while allowing the company access to customers across the Eastern U.S.,” according to the KEP.

Ms. Parkowski said NVP considered other locations, including one in Maryland.

“It was all hands on deck, and everyone we turned to for help in making this project happen was there when we needed them,” she said.

Delaware Gov. John Carney reached out to NVP, and Ms. Parkowski said the Division of Small Business identified USA Fulfillment as a tenant.

Said Zack Clark, NVP’s chief operating officer, “We feel we made the right choice in selecting Kent County for our new location.

“We were looking for a community with an experienced manufacturing workforce, and we found that in Kent County.”

According to Jay Stamerro, USA Fulfillment general manager, “This location works well for us, too. Kent County is close to many of the markets we serve, so it’s a great place for a warehouse and fulfillment center.”

In the announcement, Kent County Levy Court President P. Brooks Banta touted the additions to an area that’s “already home to a strong manufacturing base with a skilled workforce and companies such as Procter & Gamble, Kraft Heinz and Edgewell Personal Care so we feel confident Duratech, Shoreline and USA Fulfillment will find this new location a great place to do business.”