A Robertson County auto parts maker and its capital partner will invest $55 million to expand operations in Portland’s Tennessee-Kentucky Industrial Park, adding about 215 jobs and a new 815,670-square-foot production and distribution facility to the area.
The project, announced Friday, is scheduled to be complete by the end of this year, and, once operational, the new facility will be Dorman Products’ largest distribution center in the United States, serving customers throughout North America, according to its developer, Panattoni Development Company, Inc.
Construction is set to begin in the next month and the new building is tentatively scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2019, officials said.
“Dorman Products’ significant expansion in Portland underscores the confidence leading employers have in Tennessee’s skilled workforce and our overall business environment,” Gov. Bill Haslam said Friday in a state release announcing the project. “Because of the continued investment of businesses such as Dorman Products, Tennessee will lead the nation in the creation of high quality jobs.”
Dorman Products has operated in Portland since 2006 and currently employs 380 people in two facilities. Its new site includes more than 53 acres and can accommodate an additional 200,000 square feet of space for future expansion, developer Panattoni said.
Hiring for the new positions is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this year.
Once construction is complete, Dorman Products will relocate its existing Portland operations to the new facility, officials said.
“We look forward to the expansion and new innovations this investment will allow us to bring to our customers, and the economic development it will bring to the counties supporting our Portland, Tenn., operation,” Matt Barton, president of Dorman Products, said in the state’s release. “With this new facility, we will continue creating high-quality jobs and delivering more high-quality parts to the automotive aftermarket.”
Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Dorman Products is an aftermarket supplier of original replacement parts, automotive hardware, brake parts and fasteners for both automotive and heavy vehicles.
The company’s brands include AutoGrade, FirstStop and OE Solutions, and it sells to aftermarket retailers and warehouse distributors as well as to manufacturers for resale under private labels.
Since opening in 2006, Dorman Products has proven to be a good fit for the area while maintaining steady growth, Portland Mayor Ken Wilber said Friday.
“Portland is pleased when our community is the location of choice for companies who support and provide jobs for our citizens,” he said. “We pledge our ongoing support with Dorman Products’ continued success.”
For Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Dorman’s announcement “is proof of the dynamic environment of job creation we’ve encouraged in Tennessee and a strong vote of confidence in Portland and Robertson County.”
“I look forward to the major impact these jobs will have for the families and residents of Robertson County,” he said.
The project is being funded by SIF Portland TN, LLC, an affiliate of Stonemont Financial Group, with financing from Pinnacle Bank.
Alston Construction, Inc. is the general contractor, Klober Engineering is the civil engineer and Pickering Firm, Inc. is the architectural and structural engineer.
Panattoni’s Regional Partner Whitfield Hamilton said he was pleased with the deal and looking forward to the development of the new “state-of-the-art facility.”
“With the new I-65 interchange and Hwy 109 improvements, and an experienced labor base, we believe this is a great location for Dorman to continue to grow and for us to develop,” Hamilton said in a company news release Friday.
Reach Nicole Young at 615-306-3570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Nicole Young