Timpte Inc. is celebrating its 135th year in business with one of the largest building projects David City has seen in some time.
The trailer manufacturer is in the process of expanding its manufacturing plant in David City, where it has been based for more than 40 years.
President/CEO Dale Jones said Timpte looked into building a new headquarters elsewhere but decided to expand its site in David City because it was the most viable option.
“We visited Indiana, we visited Kentucky, we visited a variety of locations where we potentially might move some of our production, and after all of that data collection and analysis we came back and said, 'we’re going to stay here,'” Jones said. “This is the best place for our product, in the heartland of the country, and we’re going to make a major investment into our facilities.”
Timpte employs about 440 people, 300 of which work out of David City. The expansion is expected to add anywhere from 30-60 new jobs. Jones said one of the concerns with hiring is the constraint of limited local housing, and David City Mayor Alan Zavodny said he agrees.
Many who work in David City live in places like Columbus and Schuyler. The city has hired Marvin Planning Consultants to conduct a study on the housing needs of Butler County. Zavodny said he hopes this will be a stepping stone to the construction of additional housing in the $150,000-$200,000 price range, something he said the city currently lacks.
Schwisow Construction of Lincoln is the general contractor for the project, which will cost an estimated $14 million and consist of four parts.
The first is a new sales, parts and service center. The 11,800-square-foot-building will house technicians, parts representatives and sales personnel. Jones said the center, which opened earlier this month, will primarily focus on the eastern part of the state and will complement Timpte’s current sales center in Aurora, which was recently upgraded and expanded by 7,000 square feet.
The second new building will be a product showroom and corporate offices. The 30,000-square-foot facility will house the company's engineering group, accounting team, senior executive staff and other personnel. The entire eastern and southern side of the building will be made of glass walls designed for customers to view product displays. Jones compared the setup to that of a car dealership, where a variety of products and fully completed trucks will be on display in the showroom. This building is scheduled to open in September.
A new research and development center is also in progress. This newly constructed 12,000-square-foot building will be used by researchers to develop new products for the company. Jones said it should be finished around August.
The final part of the project is a 23,000-square-foot addition to the north side of the campus’s factory, which is expected to be completed in December. This would bring the total square footage of the building to 400,000.
Zavodny said the Timpte expansion will serve as an economic boost to the city.
“We’re just thrilled that they located it in David City, they could have gone anywhere,” Zavodny said. “I think it's going to be a crown jewel in our city.”