|Locally-owned company moving to Lebanon|
|Tuesday, September 4, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
A locally-owned manufacturing company plans to purchase the former Toshiba warehouse and move its operation from Gordonsville to Lebanon.
Lebanon City Council approved a payment in-lieu of taxes plan to help the company locate here during its Tuesday night regular meeting.
PFP, LLC, a family-owned business founded in 1999, services the air filter industry by specializing in Paperboard Filtration Products such as filter frames and die cuts and more.The company was founded by the late Fran Moscardelli of Lebanon, and his sons Richard and Michael are partners in the business and also live in Lebanon.
A six-year payment in-lieu of taxes, or PILOT, program with the City of Lebanon and Wilson County was offered to the company and has already been approved by Wilson County Commission.
“This company wants to purchase the distribution building in the former Toshiba facility to bring their operation here,” said Joint Economic & Community Development Board of Wilson County Executive Director G.C. Hixson.
The move would relocate 34 employees from the company’s Gordonsville facility to Lebanon with the intention of adding more jobs in the future. Hixson added the company expects to hire another 9 to 10 employees in the next three to five years.
“The business has been growing since we started and it is our hope to keep on growing,” Richard Moscardelli said.
Moscardelli said the company will purchase the 400,000 square foot warehouse facility that used to be part of the 894,000 square foot Toshiba plant located in the William D. Baird Industrial Subdivision. Hixson said the cost of that purchase would amount to $3.3 million.
As part of the PILOT program, the JECDB Executive Committee, County Commission and City Council agreed to waive all real property taxes for six years. In that time $27,372 in city property taxes and $198,032 in county property taxes would be waived.
Hixson said the company still pays city and county personal property taxes with an estimated total value of $1.5 million.
Moscardelli explained PFP will relocate all of its equipment to the site in Lebanon and said the relocation is a permanent move. He noted the company rents its warehouse in Gordonsville and recently began looking for opportunities to purchase a building to accommodate the growing business.
“We looked from Highway 109 to Carthage and were fortunate to find a good opportunity here,” Moscardelli said.
In 1999, PFP started with 25,000 square feet of space and has expanded to around 125,000 square feet at this point. Moscardelli said the building in Lebanon they plan to purchase would be split to house their business and possibly another.
“It is our goal to sublet the other half,” he said.
In the early 1980s, Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba located its first American facility in Lebanon. The company continued operating here until moving the majority of its manufacturing business out in the early 2000s. Hixson said the company still had 315 employees in 2007 and as many as 95 in 2008.
As the majority of the building has been empty since Toshiba left the area, Hixson said the almost 900,000 square foot facility was a hard sell for companies that didn’t want to invest in such a large space. However, he noted since PFP plans to move into approximately half of the facility, it will make the other half more appealing to businesses.
“It will be a different building to sell or move into, this makes it a more marketable location,” Hixson said. “I could see putting several businesses there.”
Hixson indicated the company could be closing on the building “very soon” but an official timetable for the move has not been confirmed.