Rotational molder Phoenix Plastics LLC is adding a 10,000-square-foot expansion at its plant in Little Falls, Minn.
The extra space will allow the firm, which is less than 2 years old, to add two rotomolding machines, bringing its total to five. Phoenix's current facility is 14,000 square feet.
``Since we opened our doors in December 2005, we've been very fortunate,'' said Larry Paulson, chief executive officer and owner, in a recent telephone interview. ``Our business now dictates we add more space and capacity.''
Paulson also credited increased business in nonmarine markets as a reason for the $400,000 expansion, which will be completed in September. At that point, Phoenix will need to add seven employees, increasing its workforce to 20.
Paulson had almost 20 years of rotomolding experience when he opened Phoenix. The firm located in Little Falls to be near its two largest customers - boat maker Crestliner and Schaefer Ventilation Equipment. Phoenix molds linear low density polyethylene pontoon-boat seating and consoles for Crestliner, and industrial and agricultural air-moving equipment for Schaefer.
Crestliner and Schaefer generate more than half of Phoenix's sales, but Paulson said the firm has added business in niche markets in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Phoenix expects to post sales of more than $2 million in 2007.
Phoenix also recently added former Crestliner executive Leon Raiter to its management team. Raiter will serve as president of the firm's technology division and also will have a minority ownership stake.
Little Falls city officials worked with the state to get tax abatements for Phoenix, Paulson said.