BANCROFT - The purchase of the 105,000-square-foot the former SkyJack building in Emmetsburg by Aluma Ltd. of Bancroft was announced Monday.
Aluma is buying the former manufacturing facility owned by SkyJack Manufacturing Inc., of Guleph, Ontario, Canada, so that it can expand, according to Aluma President Mike Lloyd. The building is located on Iowa Highway 4 South in Emmetsburg.
"The expansion is necessary to support the production requirements of Aluma's growing network of aluminum trailer dealers, " Lloyd said. "This facility will provide space for warehousing, production, research and development of the enclosed trailer line."
The building has been vacant since the firm, which built construction man-lift equipment, closed its operations in Emmetsburg nearly three years ago.
"Over the past 2 1/2 years, our growth has exceeded our forecasts and we needed to secure additional space quickly to secure the contracts within our dealer network," Lloyd said. "This expansion will provide the capacity necessary to meet the needs of our current dealers and will allow us to pursue additional opportunities that weren't possible with our existing facility."
Aluma was founded in 1992 by Dean Maschoff. It grew into a 12,000-square-foot building in Bancroft in 1995. Three years later, demand for Aluma's products prompted the doubling of the facility to its current size of 24,000 square feet.
Aluma Ltd. builds more than 60 different models and types of aluminum utility trailers: ATV, utility, motorcycle, raft, watercraft, car hauler, snowmobile and enclosed trailers. It also builds picnic tables. The Bancroft facility manufactures 50 trailers per day.
"We were very pleased that Aluma Ltd. has purchased the former SkyJack building in Emmetsburg to expand their trailer product line," Maureen Elbert, executive director of Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation, said. "With the potential of creating 20 to 25 new jobs, this will certainly inject additional dollars into our local economy."
Closing on the sale is scheduled for Nov. 1. Once improvements have been completed, the facility is expected to be operational by the spring of 2013.
The enclosed trailer line will be moved from the Bancroft plant to Emmetsburg. According to Lloyd, the move should help shorten lead times on orders from eight to 10 weeks to five to six weeks.
Aluma officials expect to add 20 to 25 new jobs over the next three years.