MOBILE, Alabama – BakerCorp broke ground Friday morning on a $1.5 million expansion in Grand Bay, slated to add 10,000 square feet and support an entirely new division.
The new complex will house warehouses and about 2,200 square feet of office space to better serve the Seal Beach, Calif.-based company’s petrochemical customers along the Gulf Coast area. BakerCorp is a national market leader in tank, pump, filtration and shoring equipment rentals.
“This is a positive sign for the economy of Mobile. We just need to kick off the homebuilding market to match, but that’s coming, and west Mobile is where that’s going to happen,” said District 3 Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl.
Developer Merril P. Thomas with Mobile-based Merrill P. Thomas Co. said he and his company are excited to play such a direct role in the growth of BakerCorp and – by extension – Mobile County.
“I think this is definitely the first of a number of developments coming to Mobile County because of the Airbus project and the other suppliers that will join Airbus in calling Mobile home,” Thomas said.
SCC Group of Point Clear is serving as general contractor for the project.
State Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile, said expansions of existing industry are always celebrated, but the fact that BakerCorp is already an established Airbus partner bodes well for future development in the area.
“All you have to do is look at how strategic this site is and realize what a tremendous transportation corridor we have here – whether it’s air, water, rail or interstate – to understand why companies such as BakerCorp are investing in Mobile,” Hightower said.
Meanwhile, SCC Group’s David Martin said the project is situated on a 5.5-acre lot and, weather permitting, should be completed by the end of September.
Grant Baxter, BakerCorp’s general manager in Mobile, explained the company has actually been in the tank business on that site for 20 years and added the pump division in only August 2012, but has already experienced 20 percent growth during the past year. In turn, the expansion will allow the company to add shoring operations, and equipment “should be on the ground” next month.
Although the Mobile facility currently employs only eight people, Baxter said that figure could nearly double to 15 by the close of 2014, but he does not anticipate payroll ever exceeding 28.
Related: Commercial Real Estate Mobile AL – Related Airbus Project Mobile AL