Southern Energy Homes to relocate in RussellvillePublished 4:50pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013
After months of searching for a buyer for the empty Franklin Homes property in Russellville Industrial Park #2, officials recently found a buyer that will offer a much-needed boost to the local economy.
According to officials, Southern Energy Homes finalized closing agreements on Friday, Oct. 11, to acquire the 27-acre property and accompanying buildings that will house the Southern Homes division of the company, which is relocating from its current location in Double Springs.
“This was a good move for us because we were looking to expand, and building a new facility would have taken a year to a year and a half to complete,” Southern Homes division manager David Brewer said.
“This facility is already available, and it fits all of our needs. It is a bigger, better, newer facility than the one we are currently in, and it will be better for our team members in terms of safety because of the availability of newer technology.”
The facility purchased by Southern Energy Homes, which is a custom manufactured housing provider, will provide 176,000 square feet of production space in addition to a 21,000 square foot frame shop.
The facility also provides all new building jigs and equipment, high ceilings and wide aisles that assist in promoting safe and efficient building practices.
With an anticipated production capacity of 12 floors daily, company officials said the Russellville facility supports Southern Energy Homes’ company-wide vision of world class.
“This acquisition expands Southern Energy Homes’ production capabilities in Alabama and allows for continued growth in this market,” said Jim Stariha, Southern Energy Homes’ chief financial officer.
“Russellville was also a good choice because of its proximity to our current facility in Double Springs,” Brewer added.
“We appreciate our team members and want to help them in this relocation process. It was a hard decision to leave Double Springs, but we believe this will be a good move.”
Brewer said he could not estimate at this time how many new jobs would be provided by the move since they were still trying to make accommodations to keep as many current team members as possible.
“Once we settle some of the relocation issues for our team members, we will be able to give an estimate on the number of new jobs that could be available,” he said.
No official date has been set for the opening of the Russellville facility but Brewer said he hoped to be operating by late spring or early summer.
“This announcement is huge for the city of Russellville and Franklin County,” Russellville Mayor David Grissom said.
“We are fortunate and thankful that Southern Energy has chosen Russellville for their expansion. This is huge for our local economy and we look forward to a long term relationship with Southern Energy and welcome them to our team of local industries.”
Mitch Mays, executive director for the Franklin County Development Authority, said he was excited about the economic impact this relocation could have on the area.
“We are pleased that Southern Energy Homes has purchased the Lakota Homes facility and we look forward to their start of operations sometime very soon,” Mays said.
“This, coupled with the IHP expansion, represents an unprecedented leap in employment opportunities in Franklin County. Franklin County and Russellville have a strong team built to work with industry and we are always working to improve employment in Franklin County.”