US builder is expanding its St Louis, Michigan facility

Apex Marine will move forward with a US$320,000 expansion to its St Louis, Michigan manufacturing facilities with the help of an Industrial Facilities Tax Exception (IFTE) approved recently by the city council.

Under the IFTE, the company’s property taxes on the new expansion will be reduced by 50% over a 12-year period.

The expansion will include a 6,000sq ft powder coating facility bringing Apex’s total foot print to just over 114,000sq ft, and 10 expected new jobs will bring its workforce to 160, making it the largest employer in the City of St Louis, according to The Morning Sun. The company began in 2013 with 30,00sq ft and 55 employees.

Apex Marine manufacturers the Qwest and Angler Qwest brands of pontoon boats.

While essentially landlocked, Gratiot County, Michigan is a hub of pontoon boat building, as it is also home to Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing (ATM) – which is also in expansion mode.

Already the county’s largest private employer, ATM hopes to add 35 more jobs with an expansion project announced in October that will bring its workforce to 425 with more than 200,000sq ft of manufacturing, with a US$1.4m expansion expected to be completed by the end of the year.