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Construction starts on estimated $18M project in PIC

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Last edited 2 p.m., Feb. 14, 2019

Construction crews are in the early stages for an estimated $17.9 million expansion to a Partnership Industrial Center plant for SMC Packaging Group.

At 4500 E. Progress Place, the former home of Watts Radiant, Springfield Business Journal on Monday observed site work and unmanned construction vehicles on-site.

A building permit on file with the city estimates the project cost at nearly $18 million.

SMC Packaging Group officials are staying mostly mum on the project, which Springfield Business Journal previously reported on in the “Summer 2018 Architects & Engineers Project Report.”

"We want to get it a little further along,” SMC CEO Kevin Ausburn told SBJ after the company hosted Gov. Mike Parson for a workforce roundtable at its 3131 E. Division St. plant. “We’re pretty low-key as a company and as an industry. We like flying under the radar.

“At some point, I’m sure we’ll talk more about the facility.”

Dan Reed, vice president of construction operations for project general contractor Storee Construction Co., deferred questions to SMC.

With information provided by mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer Malone Finkle Eckhardt & Collins Inc., SBJ previously reported SMC intends to construct a 250,000-square-foot warehouse expansion and a two-story office building, renovate the existing 160,000-square-foot plant, add an indoor railroad spur and update power for machinery and LED lighting. BRP Architects is architect for the multiphase project, according to SBJ archives.

Officials previously pointed to a May 2019 completion schedule. Reached this morning, Ausburn said the timeline is a “moving target.”

He said the company last year had a 13 percent revenue bump over 2017. That equated to revenue of about $129 million in 2018 from $114 million in 2017, he added.

SMC manufactures corrugated packaging, protective shipping cartons and packaging supplies.

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