The first shovel full of dirt has yet to be turned at Walker County’s newest industrial park, but already Audia International, the site’s major tenant, is looking to expand its manufacturing and warehousing operations.
That is what county sole commissioner Bebe Heiskell said during her regularly scheduled July 10 meeting.
“The $50 million original projection seems low,” she said, before having Larry Brooks fill in a few details about the anticipated construction at what had for years been known as the Swanson Farm.
Brooks, executive director of the Walker County Development Authority, said initial plans for a 140,000-square-foot plant have grown. And grown. And grown again.
From 140,000 square feet, the plant’s footprint grew to cover 210,000; then 240,000; then 260,000 and now is at 320,000 square feet — and it could grow some more.
“This is about one and one-half times the size of the Bluebird factory,” Brooks said.
The company currently is working out details with a contractor before construction begins with the biggest unknown being how much inventory will be warehoused at the industrial park located on U.S. 27 just north of LaFayette.
The facility will support Audia International’s three subsidiaries — Washington Penn Plastic Co. Inc., Uniform Color Co., and Southern Polymer Inc. — in their continued efforts to remain a worldwide leader in thermoplastics.
Commissioner Heiskell said she understands the company hopes to begin construction by September and should begin operations within a year from breaking ground.
About Audia International Inc.
Audia International is a privately held company focused on plastic compounding, color solutions, and distribution, with a 60-year history of customer-focused growth through its subsidiaries: Uniform Color Co., Washington Penn Plastic Co. Inc., and Southern Polymer Inc. The Audia International companies currently have 10 manufacturing locations and more than 1,000 employees in North America and Europe and are doing business in more than 50 countries, across broad market platforms including automotive, appliance, construction, packaging and consumer.