Riverside, Calif.-based NewBasis LLC, a manufacturer of below-ground enclosures and utility pads, will invest $16.3 million to establish its first operations in Lebanon, Tenn., where it expects to hire 249 people to meet demand from East Coast customers.
Founded in the 1940s, NewBasis has been serving the utility, municipality and telecommunications markets with fiberglass and polymer concrete products from its headquarters in California.
The new facility is near Nashville in the Alligood Industrial Park. The company says about 50 percent of the U.S. population lives within 650 miles of the site and 75 percent of U.S. markets are within a one- to two-day drive.
"NewBasis is all about providing unparalleled service and best-in-class products to our customers," President Tony Helf said in a news release. "After an exhaustive search, we found ... Tennessee to be the ideal partner for our new state-of-the-art facility as we look to better serve our Central and Southeastern U.S. markets."
The news release was issued by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, which offered economic incentives.
NewBasis started as Associated Concrete Products and was an early player in the precast concrete industry before divesting it in 2004 to focus on composites.
In the 1970s, company officials had determined newer plastic materials "perform better than concrete" and they formed Associated Plastics Inc., which became NewBasis in 2000.
The company underwent a big transformation in 2007-08 and invested in new engineers, senior managers, manufacturing processes and systems, and it formed a relationship with the MC Gill Composites Center at the University of Southern California.
In 2009, NewBasis started working with utilities, standards-setting institutions and academia to apply aerospace composite standards and practices to infrastructure products. The following year, it began incorporating lot traceability and serial numbers in its products — something the website says is an industry exclusive.
In 2012-14, NewBasis developed a product called PCX, which it says is a stronger, lighter form of polymer concrete and expanded capacity with advanced batching and processing systems.