Finance council OKs state grants for road contractor, building supplier and chemical company

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The state Council on Development Finance (CDF) has approved funding for three projects. The projects could create a total of 152 jobs.

Two companies will expand Wilmington, and a third recently acquired a company in Bear. All received assistance from the Delaware Property Partnership (DPP) and their respective partners.

Expanding its operations in Wilmington is Eastern Highway Specialists. Expanding to Wilmington from New Jersey is Advantage Building Supply. Coming to Bear is AWSM Solutions Delaware.

Eastern Highway Specialists began working with DPP on its site search in 2018. The 17-year-old highway and bridge construction company has projects throughout the region and generates approximately $14 million in annual revenue.

Currently leasing space on Church Street in Wilmington, the company has outgrown its location and has purchased a four-acre brownfield site at 3604 Downing Drive in northeast Wilmington. Eastern is investing nearly $4 million into the Downing Drive property and plans to build a 21,000-square-foot shop and office for its new headquarters, with room for expansion. The project includes repaving and upgrading the public infrastructure along Downing Drive.

“This project will help EHS move into our next step of growth as a company,” said EHS owners Bob and Clair Field. “As native Wilmingtonians, we are also excited to stay in Wilmington and contribute to the economic wellbeing of the City of Wilmington.”

The council reviewed and approved a Performance Grant of up to $181,000 and a Capital Expenditure Grant of up to $60,000 for a total of up to $241,000. As part of the project, EHS will create up to 17 new positions, bringing its employee count to 66 over the next three years. The City of Wilmington Economic Development Office has worked with the company on issues and permits related to the site.

Advantage Building Supply Corp., a construction materials supplier, and Zulu Fire Doors LLC are expanding their operations to Delaware from New Jersey. The privately-owned company will operate three different entities at its recently acquired location at 1400 E. 12th St. in the City of Wilmington. One entity will manufacture metal doors, a second will manufacture wood doors, and the third will distribute construction materials. Advantage Building Supply Corp. was created in 2005 and currently has operations in Paterson, N.J., and Bronx, N.Y.

The council reviewed and approved Advantage Building Supply’s request for a Performance Grant of up to $200,920 and a Capital Expenditure Grant of up to $138,000 for a total of up to $338,920. With plans to be operational in mid-2021, Advantage Building Supply and its associated entities are planning to invest over $8 million, including acquisition costs and upgrades to the existing buildings, and plans to employ 118 people over the next three years at the Wilmington location.

The City of Wilmington Economic Development Office has helped the company navigate local regulations and requirements. The Delaware location will serve customers in the multi-state region.

Coming to Bear is AWSM Solutions Delaware. A New Jersey-based collection of specialty chemical companies with expertise in distributing, manufacturing, importing, transportation, warehousing, and consulting, acquired IMS Chemblend of Bear and is making plans for a possible.

After the acquisition, the Royale Group changed the name of the company to AWSM Solutions Delaware. The company sees the acquisition as an opportunity to expand the Royale Group brand and to build on the work of IMS Chemblend.

It isnow considering expanding operations at the Bear facilityby purchasing new equipment and potentially expanding the location by 20,000 square feet. It also is planning on moving its corporate headquarters to the facility.

The company has been working with New Castle County on the improvements and potential expansion. The expansion will allow the company to serve the specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, janitorial and retail markets.

“Delaware has an educated workforce with skills that we need, a lower cost of living, and a government that understands that business development and retention is critical to the success of the state – and it’s a beautiful part of the country,” said John Logue, CEO of the Royale Group. “We are really excited to be in Delaware.”

The council reviewed and approved AWSM Solutions Delaware’s request for a Jobs Performance Grant of $99,750 and a Capital Expenditure grant of $30,000 for a total of up $129,750. The Royale Group plans to invest $1 million in capital spending at the Bear facility and add 17 new jobs. The new positions will include skilled operator positions, product managers, account managers, sales, marketing, environmental health and safety staff, and senior management.

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