Royce Group — a specialty plastics and chemicals maker based in East Rutherford, N.J. — is embarking on a major expansion by purchasing a 48,000-square-foot site in Gaffney, S.C.
The building will serve as a warehouse for Royce's line of epoxies, compounds and concentrates, as well as for colorants used in a variety of plastics. The structure — which was built in the mid-1990s, but has been vacant for two years — also will serve as a manufacturing site for the firm's dyes that are used in textile manufacturing.
The location could eventually be used to produce Royce's plastic-based products if demand warrants, Senior Vice President Wylie Royce said in a recent phone interview.
Acquiring the building and installing new equipment represents an investment of about $3 million for the 83-year-old firm, he added. The site is expected to employ about a dozen workers at first, with 10-15 more employees to be added by the end of 2014.
The new site was needed because Royce Group had outgrown an existing location in Charlotte, N.C., that covered only 12,000 square feet. That site will close by the end of the year, Royce said. The firm looked for a new site for more than two years before settling on Gaffney.
“Geographically, [Gaffney] makes a lot of sense with our current and future customer base,” Royce International President Harry Anand said in a news release. “One of the criteria was to find a business-friendly environment with easy access to a skilled labor pool.”
Royce Group has been on a good run, with sales up by double-digit percentages in each of the last three years, Wylie Royce said. Sales overall doubled between 2008 and 2001, when the family-owned firm posted sales of between $50 million and $60 million. Sales for 2012 are on pace to be more than $60 million, he added.