Metal products out, hot tubs in
I'm guessing I'm not the only one who has been curious for the last few months about all the work going on at the old Metal Products Company building on Garfield St. For all those wondering, I'm happy to report I have an answer.
Kevin Sparks will be opening Generation Hot Tubs Manufacturing at the former Genesco/MPC building at 326 Garfield St. The company will be bringing several jobs to the area.
But that's a story for another day. This week, I'm going to tell you about the work that's gone on behind the scenes to bring new life to this piece of McMinnville history that's been around since the 1940s.
The father-and-son team of Keith and Adam Bouldin of Tri-State Development & Construction Company have worked together with their crew to totally renovate the aging facility to bring it to its present state, which drew in a new company and jobs to McMinnville.
Keith bought the building in Sept. 2022 and, since then, Tri-State has done a tremendous amount of work to bring light and life into what was a dingy, dark old building.
"Everything in here has been redone – all-new LEDs, new paint and we've cleaned the floor thoroughly and done a clear-coat on it," Adam said. "We've redone the bathrooms, added partitions and sinks and things like that. We did a lot of cleaning. It was about three to four weeks of just pressure washing the floor."
Generation Hot Tubs Manufacturing will be taking over the entire facility, which dates back to 1945. "I had heard that Herschel Wells' grandfather and father had poured the concrete on this building. Then we found initials outside and the last initial was a W. I called Herschel over and he confirmed that they did pour the concrete, one-third of a yard at a time, mixing it up in a mixer. That's how this building was poured in 1945. Three years later in 1948 they poured a little extra foundation and Herschel's grandfather wrote his initials in it," Keith said.
Walking into the massive room I was struck with how well-lighted and bright the facility felt, and that's not just because of the new LED lights. "They had painted over the old windows and it was really dark, and we re-did and replaced the windows and were able to give it a really nice feeling. It's one of the best feeling factories I've been in because it's just so bright," Adam said.
Not all remnants of MPC have been swept away. Chris Lack worked at MPC and also worked with Tri-State to help renovate the building. "Chris worked here for around 17 years and has also worked with us and, along with our other employees, has been instrumental in helping us redo the facility," Adam said.
The new factory is currently in the process of moving in. "Once we got the building finished, we listed it and it was listed for maybe a month or two before we found this company that we thought would be a really good fit," Adam said.
Hopefully in a future Business Pulse I'll bring you more information on the hot tub company, but the amount of work it took to create an environment ready to attract a new company is an interesting story in itself.
Half a century
Spending 50 years cleaning other people's messes would sound like torture to some but Jim Yates has made a career of it and he's still going.
"In 1973 I left Rockford Textile where I was a foreman for several years. I decided to get out of the factory and get outside more. I started working for another cleaning service and, in 1975, I bought them out - all their accounts, supplies and equipment - and started my own business, Jim's Cleaning Service. I've been in business ever since" Jim said.
The decision to venture out on his own is one Jim has never second-guessed. "I'm glad I made the decision to do that. I've never regretted the decision to buy them out. I didn't only do cleaning. I did finished carpentry and painting too and I had a couple of helpers back then. You live and learn no matter what kind of business you're in," Jim said.
Over half a century on the job, some bizarre stories are bound to crop up. One stood out to his wife, Betty Yates, who encouraged Jim to relate a particular run-in with the police he unexpectedly had one night. "While cleaning at First National Bank after hours, one of my helpers accidentally set off an alarm and the police came banging on the door with a gun butt. When he came inside, he did a little tour of the bank," Jim remembered.
Betty worked at Cheer Mental Health for around 30 years and also worked with Jim for several years. Lately, however, Jim has been doing it all on his own. "I've had several helpers over 50 years time but I cut back several years ago and I just started doing what I could myself. I haven't had any employees for a few years. It cuts down on the paperwork and I've been working by myself for a long time.
Jim is lightening his load a bit by stepping away from cleaning Security Federal where he's been cleaning since 1973 but he's not retiring completely. He still has several commercial and residential clients he's keeping. "I'm going to keep my business open for carpet cleaning. I've still got my license and insurance. I plan to keep it open, at least for a while. I've still got several customers for carpet cleaning and some churches," Jim said.
Of his long-term relationship with Security Federal, Jim said he owes a lot to the bank's president, Joe Pugh. "He's been a true friend. He's been so understanding. I owe him a lot," Jim said.
"When my customers call and ask if I'm still in business, I want to say yes, I'm still going. I'm just stepping back a bit. I'm not ready to completely quit," Jim added.
Betty heaped praise on her husband's work ethic, saying, "He's been a wonderful husband and hard worker." Jim's Cleaning Service can be reached at (931) 273-4653.
Until next time,
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Thanks again for reading. If you have a business you'd like featured or business tips for me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (931) 473-2191.