PSG Custom Fabrication, a metal fabrication company based in Boone, has purchased the former Key City Furniture building on N.C. 268 West in Wilkesboro.
The company plans to build tornado shelters, safe rooms and other reinforced steel structures at the Wilkesboro facility, to be called U.S. Safe Room.
The company is owned by Tommy Sofield of Boone. His daughter, Heather, a member of the management team, said that the company, has committed to 38 jobs at the facility within the two years.
Under the terms of the grant, the positions must be retained for a minimum of five years. Wages will range from $9 per hour for general laborers and $18-$20 for foremen, to over $100,000 for management.
No purchase price for the building, with about 200,000 square feet of floor space, was released.
The company is applying for $750,000 from the Community Development Block Grant Fund to offset the $2.6 million the company plans to spend for improvements and renovations to the building to up fit it for production.
Work will begin in the next few weeks on improvements to the building, and production of the buildings is expected to begin in April.
The Town of Wilkesboro is the sponsoring agency for the grant request. The town council approved the grant application during a special Tuesday meeting at town hall. The town’s share of the grant will be $25,000.
Jeff Garstka, the president of the Wilkes Economic Development Corp., presented the proposal for the grant application to the town council.
“We plan to start remodeling the space soon,” said Ms. Sofield. “We’ll expand and grow into the entire building as the business expands.”
Ms. Sofield said that her father owned the U.S. Chemical Storage company, adjacent to the Key City property, until selling it in September 2013. That company built chemical storage, explosion-proof buildings and armories.
The Watauga facility produces Quonset-style steel buildings. The company has also been manufacturing carports, garages and small barns at a building off Stokes Street in Wilkesboro for the past year.