A 173,000 square-foot former paint manufacturing plant near Cheswold is seeing new life and new jobs thanks to a joint effort of the Kent Economic Partnership, the state and Kent County.

The building at 1886 Lynnbury Woods Road was purchased for $4.25 million, part of a total investment of $17.2 million to develop manufacturing and warehouse jobs at the site.

Nephi, Utah-based National Vinyl Products is an extruder of PVC fence and rail products sold across North America.  This new state-of-the-art extrusion plant will employ 80 workers as equipment operators, quality control and plant/equipment maintenance personnel while allowing the company access to customers across the Eastern U.S.

USA Fulfillment Services, a Chestertown, Maryland-based logistics company, is leasing space at the building and will use it for warehousing. It will employ between 30 and 40 workers, bringing the total number of people working at the building to as many as 130.

Formerly occupied by PPG, the building has been vacant since 2019 when the company closed its paint factory there.

“This is a real win for Delaware and for Kent County,” Gov. John Carney said. “This brings back to the area many of what I call the ‘new old’ jobs that for years have helped Delaware families put food on the table, pay the mortgage and send their kids to college.”

It took a coordinated effort by Kent Economic Partnership and state and county government to make the project come together, said Kent Economic Partnership Executive Director Linda Parkowski.

“NVP considered several other locations, including one in Maryland,” Parkowski said. “It was all-hands on deck and everyone we turned to for help in making this project happen was there when we needed them. From the governor, who reached out to National Vinyl Products, to the Division of Small Business who found USA Fulfillment as a tenant, to the Council on Development Finance which approved a bond and grants and Kent County Levy Court which provided additional funding, it was a team effort.”

The Council on Development Finance at its meeting in June recommended the issuance of a bond of up to $10 million to help finance the cost of acquiring the building and purchasing manufacturing equipment. CDF also recommended $268,823 in grants for the project.

Kent County Levy Court will provide a $75,000 grant and a 10-year tax abatement for the project.

“This project will return key manufacturing jobs to the area,” Kent County Levy Court President P. Brooks Banta said. “Kent County is already home to a strong manufacturing base with a skilled workforce and companies such as Procter & Gamble, Kraft Heinz and Edgewell Personal Care, so we feel confident Duratech, Shoreline and USA Fulfillment will find this new location a great place to do business.”

Damian DeStefano, chair of the Delaware Economic Development Authority, said the county was ready for this project.

“Kent County was well positioned to compete for and win this opportunity,” DeStefano said.  “The Kent Economic Partnership has done a great job of effectively framing the benefits the county offers to a diverse array of businesses. The team at the Division of Small Business looks forward to helping attract more projects in the future.”

 Zack Clark, NVP’s chief operating officer, agreed. “We feel we made the right choice in selecting Kent County for our new location,” Clark said. “We were looking for a community with an experienced manufacturing workforce and we found that in Kent County.”

Jay Stamerro, USA Fulfillment general manager, also praised the location. “Kent County is close to many of the markets we serve so it’s a great place for a warehouse and fulfillment center,” he said. 

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