Local milling company Doors and Drawers received an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption from the city of Dexter last night after applying for abatement on $524,000 of property value over a four year period.
That abatement amount is exactly the cost of the site expansion planned to expand the companies manufacturing capabilities and vastly expand its warehousing capabilities.
With the old Dapco Industries building on Baker Road slated for demolition to make way for a residential development intended to lead a commercial rebirth of the city’s old industrial core, Doors and Drawers was faced with having to find another provider of off-site storage somewhere in the area that wasn’t too far from their facility at 2467 Bishop Circle East or possibly an entirely new location that already had on-site warehousing space in the amount that the business currently needs.
Doors and Drawers was taking up 2,000 square feet of space at Dapco with their most current storage needs. The expansion at their site entails a 6,000 square foot addition to the existing 13,900 square foot building. Other improvements tied to the expansion project include upgraded interior electrical panels, a more powerful exterior transformer provided by DTE, an expanded sprinkler system, landscaping improvements, additional parking spaces, and entire parking lot resurfacing.
The building improvements are valued at $450,000 and the site improvements outside are $74,000.
The IFTE value was determined on the basis of the number of current employees that would be retained in Dexter versus the company having to relocate, as well as the creation of three new positions in the coming four years as company operations expand.
The improvements are expected to enhance worker safety, increase operational efficiency, and improve manufacturing output going forward, according to Rose Manitz, Doors and Drawers vice president.
The storage space will house unfinished goods. Reconfiguration of the facility due to the expansion allowed, “more space internally in the existing building to move production spots around to become more efficient and make it a safer work environment for the employees,” Manitz explained.
The Manitz family has operated Doors and Drawers in the industrial park in Dexter for 28 years now. Theres was one of the first businesses to locate to Bishop Circle after they started the company in 1983. This is the company’s second expansion since coming to their current space, which they moved to after being a smaller operation run out of a commercial building basement in Ann Arbor and then a commercial space at Pittsfield Village.
Manitz says that Doors and Drawers is looking at reliable market growth in the coming years as the company enjoys a solid business from local universities, hospitals, and large commercial businesses such as car dealerships.
“We also do installations ourselves making us a little bit different from other companies,” Manitz said.
The company started out with the Manitz family focusing mostly on refacing existing cabinetry. McKinley Properties asked if Doors and Drawers could execute some countertop work orders, and from there there the company began its evolution into a commercial entity that’s grown into a full service manufacturing and installation business.
Manitz said her biggest challenge going forward is finding employees with skilled trades background and experience.
“There’s so much going on right now — we’ve had steady growth the past few years. Thankfully we’re in a little bit of a bubble because of the universities and hospitals,” Manitz said. “Finding skilled trades people who recognize that you can make a pretty good living doing this type of work is our greatest challenge.”