New Durant Business To Hire 60 Employees - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

New Durant Business To Hire 60 Employees

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DURANT, OK -- A tile company plans to bring five dozen new jobs to Bryan County over the next three years, along with moving into and renovating an old warehouse.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning at the Durant Chamber of Commerce on North Fourth Avenue.  The Minnesota-based company The Tile Shop was looking for a place to expand, and after looking at Texas, a company executive says he visited Duncan and Seminole, Okla., but found the best site for his needs in Durant.

The warehouse that once housed a grocery distributing company Hale Halsell sits empty. "I've never seen no cars here, it's just been vacant," says resident Anthony Martin.

Soon, the warehouse will be filled with tiles made around the world, and the workers to handle them and make the adhesive to stick them to floors and walls.

"Over three years, we'll hire about 48 employees to work in our Distribution Center, and another 12 that will work in our manufacturing plant," says The Tile Shop senior vice president Joe Kinder.

The Tile Shop plans for a $16 million project, upgrading the West Arkansas Street building to a working Distribution Center. After first contacting the city in August, they expect to be up and running by May. "In less than one year, we've gone from A to Z in the process of welcoming and creating the environment for a new company," says Mayor Jerry Tomlinson.

Kinder says they were looking for a place to distribute their tiles around the central part of the country, and after looking at a few different sites, he determined that the Durant warehouse was the best fit for his company.

"Durant is situated in an ideal spot, kind of in the middle of the middle of the country," says Kinder. According to Kinder, The Tile Shop has 64 stores and plans to expand its reach westward, and that is where Durant comes in.

"We have distribution in Michigan and Virginia that helps service all our stores on the East Coast, what we're trying to do is take steps to go national," says Kinder.

"It's not every day that you get to welcome a new company, and particularly in the economic environment in the last four or five years," says Tomlinson.

The company will be adding about 40,000 square feet onto the 150,000 square foot warehouse, according to the Durant Industrial Authority. They plan to take advantage of a half-million dollar DIA loan with no interest required and a federal New Market Tax Credit.