A Texas-based manufacturer closed one Richmond door, while opening a much larger one a mile away.
Steves and Sons, a door manufacturer that has operated in the area since 1984, recently sold its 60,000-square-foot 5325 Glen Alden Drive facility near Richmond International Airport and set up shop in a 250,000-square-foot building.
The company put $7 million worth of infrastructure into the new facility at 5640 Lewis Road. It purchased the building for $2.5 million in 2013 under the name Foribus LLC. Foribus is Latin for “doors.”
Steves and Sons manufactures several different kinds of doors for both inside and outside. In Richmond it produces mostly wooden, interior doors and sells to builders.
With only 60,000 square feet, the Glen Alden location had previously been the company’s smallest facility. CEO Edward Steves said the downturn in the economy seven years ago kept it from expanding earlier.
“We figured that our business would be off by 80 percent,” Steves said. “Many of our competitors were going bankrupt during that time frame. We had a conservative buying pattern, so we weren’t in debt, but we were also spinning our wheels for a number of years.”
That changed when the market, particularly housing, bounced back. The company received a significant order around February 2013 that the Richmond location found difficult to complete.
“At that point, we realized that if we couldn’t do something to bring the Richmond plant up, that we would really be missing out when the economy turned around,” Steves said.
Steves and Sons purchased the new location in October 2013. It became fully operational in November 2014.
The company sold its Glen Alden warehouse to the state for $1.4 million in a deal that closed in late December.
Marshall Herman, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said the warehouse will be used to store miscellaneous items for VDOT, including repair parts, equipment and records or publications.
It will consolidate three warehouses the department currently has in Henrico and Chesterfield counties and Petersburg.
Steves’ Richmond location now matches the size of the company’s five other plants around Texas an in Nashville.
With the extra square footage, the company increased its staff by about 30 employees, bringing the total number up to 120.
Steves’ grandfather started the company in 1866. It has expanded since then by adding more locations and increasing its production capacity. It currently produces 49,000 doors a day between its six locations.