Manufacturer coming to former Fleetwood building

Evolve Composites to bring 60 or more new jobs to the town over three years

August 10, 2011|By DON AINES |

Amid an avalanche of bad economic news worldwide, Hancock got some good tidings Wednesday evening when it was announced  that a manufacturer will move into the former Fleetwood building, bringing 60 or more new jobs to the town over three years.

Evolve Composites will move begin moving into the 110,000-square-foot building this fall and start production in January, Mayor Daniel Murphy said. The facility, which is owned by the town and includes 22 acres of land, will also be the corporate headquarters for Evolve, he said.

Evolve Composites manufactures heating and air-conditioning condenser pads, HandiBlock lightweight deck piers, Polyslab irrigation and pool pump covers and Sinkpal drain guards, Murphy said.

The town has been trying to market the property to a manufacturer for more than five years, Murphy said at the town council meeting.

Once used to manufacture Fleetwood travel trailers, it was acquired several years ago by businessman Stanley E. Fulton, who turned it over to the town, said Stephen M. Gyurisin, the general manager of Advance Planning Associates LC and a member of the team that helped market the building.

Evolve and the town have reached terms on a seven-year lease with two five-year renewal options, Murphy said. The first year will be rent-free, he said.

"That's what turned their heads," said Murphy, who also credited Town Manager David Smith for negotiating the deal.

The second and third years call for Evolve to lease the space at $2 per square foot, rising 3 percent a year after that, Gyurisin said. Two companies renting space in the building now will be assisted in finding new space, Murphy said.

"This major expansion represents another significant step on our journey of solid growth," Evolve Chief Executive Officer Martin Bristow said in the news release.

The company also has facilities in Alabama and Florida, Murphy said.

The Fleetwood plant was renamed the Stanley E. Fulton Industrial Complex after it was donated to the town, Murphy said. Hancock was recently awarded $600,000 in Maryland Community Development Block Grant Funds to help upgrade the site, he said.

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