Hillyard Industries, a leading manufacturer and distributor of cleaning and hygiene solutions located in St. Joseph since 1907, recently announced the purchase of property owned by WireCo WorldGroup (“WireCo”), a manufacturer and distributor of wire and synthetic rope. As part of this agreement, Hillyard will build a new manufacturing and national distribution center on 25 acres directly to the north of its current facilities.
Both companies share a commitment to the vitality of downtown St. Joseph and are making plans to preserve and promote that purpose. Hillyard has a goal to relocate and modernize its manufacturing and warehousing operations, which have been located downtown since the 1930s. Administrative offices will remain in the current location.
“WireCo has a long history in St. Joseph and we wanted that legacy preserved to the best of our ability. Hillyard Industries is a natural fit as their continued commitment to downtown and the local community is an optimal next step for the WireCo property. While we are very disappointed that our St Joseph employees are so negatively affected by the plant closing, we will be pleased to see this redevelopment come to fruition,” said Chris Ayers, CEO of WireCo.
Demolition and construction is slated to begin between 2019 and 2020, with the goal of Hillyard being fully operational in its new facility beginning in 2021 or 2022. WireCo plans to close its manufacturing facility, while continuing the fabrication division of its business in its current location.
Hillyard is committed not only to the physical restoration of downtown St. Joseph, but also to its citizens. Hillyard plans to retain approximately 200 jobs in St. Joseph, while continuing to focus on a strategy for sustainable growth.
As a downtown real estate owner, Hillyard has a vested interest in redevelopment. The company explored “greenfield” opportunities that were less expensive and easier to develop, yet agreed to the redevelopment of the WireCo property. As a result, Hillyard is requesting public incentives to make the downtown redevelopment project more financially feasible.
“When conversations with WireCo began, it was immediately apparent that we shared the same vision and goal of making decisions that benefit downtown St. Joseph. We want to provide opportunities for growth and reinvestment among our employees and in the downtown area where Hillyard has thrived for several generations. We are excited about this project and the vitality it will add to our local community,” said Jim Carolus, president of Hillyard.
Hillyard is a privately-owned manufacturer and distributor of cleaning and hygiene products located in St. Joseph. Founded in 1907 by Newton S. Hillyard, the company is committed to helping organizations improve outcomes, lower cleaning costs and deliver results that ensure clean, safe, healthy facilities.