A local packaging company is unboxing an eight-figure expansion and hiring plan as it prepares to relocate its home base.
Dominion Packaging announced plans Tuesday to spend $45 million on a new headquarters at 5700 Audubon Dr. The investment will cover renovations and new manufacturing equipment and includes the $9 million the company paid in September for the 317,000-square-foot former Mazda distribution center near the Richmond International Airport.
“We thought that we needed 200,000 square feet, but we’re going to bring in some new technology that we don’t have today,” Dominion chief executive Brett Hawkins said. “When you look at our three-year plan, the plant’s completely full.”
Dominion produces packaging materials primarily for the tobacco and quick service restaurant industries. Hawkins chose the plant because of its proximity the airport, VCU and Dominion’s existing operations on the Southside.
The new headquarters was announced in a statement released by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office. Henrico County beat out a North Carolina site for the Dominion plant, according to the release. The state offered the packaging company incentives including a $300,000 grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership Program and funding to pay for Dominion’s recruit and training activities.
Dominion Packaging employs about 145 workers, and the manufacturing plant will add another 113. Hawkins said the jobs would be primarily in manufacturing, although the company will also host sales, research and development and executive management at the new headquarters.
The firm is currently based out of a roughly 236,000-sqaure-foot building in Southside’s Broad Rock Industrial Park. Hawkins said the company would continue to operate at that location, which it purchased in 2007 from what is now MeadWestvaco.
Dominion will produce similar products at Audubon Drive and Cofer Road, but Hawkins said he plans to add newer technologies, including equipment to expand biodegradable packing production, at the Henrico plant.
The plant will open on a limited basis by January, and Dominion hopes to be at full production by May.
Dominion bought its new building in August from New Jersey-based Hampshire Real Estate Companies for $9 million. The warehouse was built for Mazda in the late 1980s, but the auto maker vacated the property in 2004. Sunrise Construction leased the building in 2008 but it has been dark since 2011.