SUN COAST ADDS SPACE, PRESSES: CLOSURES MAKER BUYS WAREHOUSE NEAR EXISTING PLANT

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Sun Coast Closures Inc. has purchased a 75,000-square-foot warehouse and will add injection presses to its existing plant in Sarasota, Fla.

Company officials would not reveal the amount invested in the expansion.

``This deal will set us up for the next 25-30 years,'' said President Arnold Pirkau.

The warehouse, purchased last month, is next to the firm's 80,000-square-foot plant and shares a rail siding. The buildings could be joined in the future, and the company also bought land adjacent to the warehouse where it could add another 200,000 square feet of space.

``The existing structure will last three to five years before we need to take advantage of the additional land,'' Pirkau said.

``This is a significant purchase. It fits our growth plans for the future. We needed the expansion desperately.''

Sun Coast will put the warehouse to use within 60 days.

The company soon will add four injection presses. Two presses were installed in December. Pirkau would not reveal the number of presses Sun Coast operates.

The company employs about 140.

Sun Coast will celebrate its 20th anniversary March 1.

``We started with three people in a 12-by-16 [foot] office,'' he said.

Sun Coast injection molds polypropylene and polyethylene closures for the beverage, food, pharmaceutical, personal-care, automotive, household products and chemical industries.

The company designs closures and builds prototype molds to simulate production. Then the in-house tooling facility constructs the molds for testing.

When making the products, Sun Coast also performs color blending.

``We are working on several new closures,'' Pirkau added.

The company, which reported $27.5 million in sales last year, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dallas-based Sun Coast Industries Inc.

Other divisions include the chemical, consumer products and food-service divisions. Sun Coast Industries reported sales of $80.8 million for the year ended June 30.