BRADENTON -- One of the world's largest cement manufacturers has sold one of its smallest manufacturing plants, located in the Oneco industrial area, to a local concrete wall manufacturer.
Lehigh Hanson Inc., a Texas subsidiary of German building materials giant HeidelbergCement, sold the former Hanson Pipe & Precast building at 6015 21st St. E. for $627,000 on May 14 to Permacast, a Manatee County company that manufactures precast concrete fences and walls.
Jeff Sieg, director of corporate communications for the Irving, Texas-based Lehigh, said the company ceased operations at the plant in 2007. It has leased the 22,000-square foot facility to Permacast for the past 18 months. The 34-year-old building was home to the Joelson Concrete Pipe Company before Hanson started doing business there, according to county records.
Hanson Pipe & Precast is a Lehigh subsidiary that operates in 45 locations in the United States and Canada, according to its website. It still has six locations in Florida.
Permacast vice president Paxton Craddock said the family-owned company leased and later purchased the building because it was purposely built for manufacturing concrete building components. The high-ceilinged steel building, which came complete with an overhead crane, was scheduled to be scrapped before Permacast moved in.
Two months away from launching a new, wind-resistant fiber-concrete fencing product, Permacast is already looking to expand. Craddock said the 9.6 acres of land that came with the
building purchase should provide adequate space to build additional manufacturing facilities.
"We're actually kind of outgrowing the building right now," Craddock said.
Currently, the company sells most of its concrete walls to developers and homeowners associations. Last year, Permacast manufactured about five miles of wall.
Its new fence product is intended to be an alternative to vinyl and wood fences.
Permacast employs 14 people and is projecting a good year in 2014. It earned $1.5 million in revenue in 2013, but is planning on $3 million this year.
The company got its start in Sarasota in 2006 and sells walls throughout Florida and in Texas and Louisiana. It moved to Manatee County from a building it leased in Sarasota.
More information about the company can be found on its websites, permacastwalls.com and permafenceusa.com.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.