By Kathryn Hardison – Staff Writer, Austin Business Journal
Feb 24, 2021, 3:47pm EST
A Louisiana-based metal roofing manufacturer is expanding its operations to Lockhart where it plans an investment of at least $3.25 million to build its next facility. About a dozen jobs are promised.
McElroy Metal Mill Inc., based in Bossier City, Louisiana, entered into economic development agreements with the city of Lockhart and Caldwell County on Feb. 23 following approval from Lockhart City Council and Caldwell County Commissioners. The agreements outline property tax rebates that the company will receive over five years if it meets performance goals, such as job creation and construction.
McElroy Metal creates metal roofing, metal siding and substructural components across the United States. Its products can be found in projects ranging from single-family homes to multi-million dollar commercial projects, according to city documents.
The Austin area has been booming with construction in recent years as companies continue to pick Central Texas for relocations and expansions, including Apple's $1 billion campus in North Austin and Tesla's $1.1 billion facility on the east side. With the commercial activity has come a flood of single-family and multifamily development that's been apparent across the Central Texas region.
Locally, McElroy Metal's products have been used for projects such as the JW Marriott hotel downtown, according to its website.
McElroy Metal's expansion to the Austin area is in response to growing operations at the company, Chief Financial Officer Amanda Haskins said at the Feb. 23 Council meeting. The company has 13 manufacturing centers, 25 service centers and four customer service offices across the county, according to its website. It already has manufacturing facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Houston area and in Merkel, Texas, which Haskins said have all been running at full capacity for some time.
"We're really excited to get in that area so that we can service our customers in the area better and take some relief off our other manufacturing facilities," Haskins said of its planned Lockhart facility.
The company will be the first tenant at the 75-acre industrial park that the Lockhart Economic Development Corp. is developing with shovel-ready sites off State Highway 130, about 27 miles south of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. McElroy Metal will construct a 30,000-square-foot building on a 10-acre site in Lockhart's new industrial park, with plans to expand its footprint in the future. LEDC Director Mike Kamerlander said no other users had been identified for the industrial park by press time.
McElroy Metal is required to create a minimum of 11 jobs at the plant over the first three years with an average annual salary of $36,000, plus benefits such as health care, according to city documents. Haskins said the company plans to hire locally and will likely relocate one employee to Lockhart to fill a managerial role.
McElroy Metal is set to receive property tax rebates from the county and city as follows: 75% in the first year, 50% in the second year, 40% in the third year, 30% in the fourth year and 25% in the final year. Overall, the company will receive over $59,600 in city incentives and nearly $64,800 from the county. The net benefit of new tax revenue to the City of Lockhart is estimated at $253,500 over 10 years, and the county is expected to receive over $243,000 in 10 years. The agreements also include clawback provisions if McElroy doesn't meet the requirements.
Haskins said the company typically works with large-scale contractors and is also planning to open a retail component in the future that would service smaller contractors in the area. Company officials could not be reached for additional comment by press time.