Archive for July, 2013

Trane Inc. – Business Expansion

Posted in Projects with tags , , , on July 30, 2013 by Tory Brecht


4801 Grand Avenue

Total Investment: $2.1 million (construction cost by Russell Construction)
Projected jobs created: 2 new positions, 43 retained

Rendering of new Trane facility on Grand Avenue

Trane Inc. is moving into a new, larger Davenport facility in order to double its shipping and receiving capability, meet its growing Supply Department’s needs and add a state-of-the-art training facility. They will lease the new building from Russell Construction, which is constructing the new facility on Grand Avenue. The lease term is 10 years.

Mikel Overstake, contracting/operations manager, said the company expects to add two new hires in 2014. The new location was necessary because the company had outgrown its facility on 55th Street. The new location is also better situated to serve customers, he added. The old building was 16,200 square-feet, with 9,000 SF of warehouse, 7,200 SF of office and 551 SF for training. By contrast, the new building features 25,000 total square-feet with 17,000 SF of warehouse, 8,000 SF of office space and a 1,500 SF training room.

The larger warehouse area will allow the company to increase commercial inventory and create a “one stop shop” for HVAC needs. They plan to use the training facility to assist the engineering community and customers on items such as:

  • High efficiency equipment
  • Energy control strategies
  • Equipment longevity
  • Central geothermal systems
  • Ice storage
  • Wireless communication products

The new facility also allows Trane to install a brand new, state-of-the-art HVAC system to showcase to their customers, Overstake said.


Great River Brewery – Business Expansion

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , , on July 19, 2013 by Tory Brecht


332 E. 2nd Street

Total Investment: $53,381
Downtown Partnership Facade Grant: $11,681
Private Funds Leveraged: $41,881
Status: Underway
Jobs Created: 3 additions in past year, more staff anticipated

Great River brewery exterior - 2nd Street

Big changes are afoot at Davenport’s largest craft brewery. The most obvious is a new facelift and paint job for the formerly burnt-orange establishment that is now a combination of grays and charcoals with some color accents. But more improvements – inside, outside and even across the street – are coming as well.

With a little help from a Downtown Partnership facade improvement grant, the brewery owners are investing more than $50,000 to double the size of their tasting room and move their offices into the long-vacant old Oasis gas station building across Iowa Street. Dawn Lehnert, a brewery co-owner, said the abandoned gas and convenience station will also receive a nice facade update with new awnings, a porch and more greenspace, helping clean up one of the most visible entrances to downtown Davenport at the base of the Government bridge.

The former Oasis gas station, pre-renovation

The former Oasis gas station, pre-renovation

Lehnert said it’s been a year of growth for Great River. The brewery now sells its canned and keg beer in seven Midwest states, has added a full-time brewer and three hospitality staff members and will see production increase from 3,000 barrels in 2012 to more than 4,000 barrels in 2013. A capital investment in two larger brewing tanks this year helped fuel the growth, Lehnert said.

New brewing tanks help increase production

New brewing tanks help increase production

In addition to the Davenport expansion, the brewer’s partnership with Mississippi River Distilling in LeClaire is also underway. That project includes a 7,000 square foot expansion at the distillery and will feature more cask-aged brewing capacity and another tasting room where both the brewery’s offerings and the distillery’s spirits can be consumed.

Most of the work in Davenport – including moving the offices – will be complete by this fall, Lehnert said. The currently often-cramped tasting room will double in size when the wall separating the current offices from the bar and tables is taken out, making for a more comfortable and inviting room, she added.

Craft brewing is one of the fastest-growing industry segments in the United States, and Great River is among Iowa’s leaders. Lehnert said the company will continue to grow and expand and explore new markets and opportunities.

Maxx Industries – New Business

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2013 by Tory Brecht


9105 N. Zenith Avenue

Total Investment: $950,000
CDBG Job Creation Grant: $320,000
Private Funds Leveraged: $630,000
Status: Just complete
Jobs Created: 7 immediately – potentially 30-40 within 3 years

A welder works on one of Maxx Industries' high-sided shale bins.

The Quad-Cities is known as a haven for specialized and advanced manufacturing and a new business in north Davenport is carrying on that tradition. Maxx Industries LLC, a new venture led by entrepreneur Thor McDonald, is a diversified manufacturer of equipment for the North American oil and natural gas industries and equipment for the agricultural sector.

McDonald – whose background is in the metals and manufacturing industry – acquired a vacant 38,000-square-foot industrial building on North Zenith (behind Farm and Fleet, near the Northwest Boulevard exit on Interstate 80) from Alcoa. The spacious manufacturing floor area serviced by massive overhead cranes is ideal for Maxx Industries’ large-scale manufacturing needs.

Work began in late June on the company’s first two oil and gas inventory products – high-sided shale bins destined for the Canadian oil and gas fields. McDonald has hired six welders/fabricators and will be adding a production manager and more manufacturing employees in the near term. Longer term, McDonald said by the end of three years, he’d like to have a workforce of 30 to 40, including engineers, draftsmen, sales and other support staff.

“Advantages of a Davenport location are the central location in the country, the access to skilled personnel in the area, the proximity and ease to access Interstate 80, and the nearby truck stops for marshaling trucks to be loaded,” McDonald said. “Also, the building, a former R&D facility for Alcoa, offers immediate benefits to support our operations and offers opportunity for growing the business. We were able to pick up 10 adjoining acres for future expansion.”

The spacious building and built-in crane system were attractive to McDonald.

McDonald’s employees are currently working on oil and gas products, but will soon be manufacturing more complex agricultural equipment such as large grain augers. These particular augers are used on the large farm operations in Canada, but McDonald believes there is market potential on large American-based farm operations throughout the Midwest as well. The largest auger is 105-feet long and more than 13 feet tall. The demand in Canada for this product has kept manufacturing in that country engaged year-round with no opportunity to export to the US and meet American interest in the product line.

Maxx Industries is the type of high-quality job creator and advanced manufacturing facility well-suited to Davenport’s Interstate 80 corridor area. Expect to see more development in this excellently located part of Davenport in the coming months and years.