May 11, 2017 – GEM Products, Inc., one of the world’s leading stainless-steel marine and boat hardware suppliers, is scheduled to relocate its corporate office from Orange Park, FL, to the Flagler Center in Jacksonville, FL.
“We are very excited to break ground on our new state-of-the-art facility,” says Matthew Bridgewater, President and CEO of GEM Products, Inc.
Centrally located between I-95 and US-1, just south of I-295, GEM Products is very convenient for its customers and also for its employees, most of whom live east of the river, says Bridgewater. “Securing this location was a tremendous accomplishment and could not have happened without our project manager and real estate broker, The Meek Companies.”
Craig Meek, Principal with The Meek Companies, says, “What makes this project truly unique is that it combines commercial corporate offices, R&D, retail, and warehouse distribution all in one project.”
The project partners are all local Jacksonville-based companies, which strengthens and supports the local economy. The partners are
- Project Manager & Real Estate Broker: The Meek Companies, Craig Meek – Principal
- General Contractor: D.W. Meyers Constructors, Inc., David Meyers – CEO
- Architect: Rolland, DelValle & Bradley, Carlos DelValle – Principal
- Civil Engineer: England-Thims & Miller, Inc., Joe Tarver – Executive VP
David Meyers, who has been in the construction business more than 35 years, refers to the project team as “the Dream Team – the best in the business!”
The new facility will be constructed with 9.25-inch thick, 37-foot tall tilt-up concrete wall panels. In addition, the entire facility will be air-conditioned, which will dramatically improve the working conditions for everyone at GEM Products.
“The height of this building is custom designed to support GEM’s Vertical Lift Modular (VLM), an advanced storage control system,” says Carlos DelValle. The plan is to store a high volume of inventory on a vertical shelving system, which maximizes floor space and is controlled by a CNC, or Computer Numerical Control system, that selects, grabs, and receives, with one click of a button, every customer-ordered part.
The completed building size will be 70,567 square feet and will be constructed in two phases. Mid-February of 2018 is the projected completion date of Phase 1, a total of 38,400 square feet that includes 15,000 square feet of office space and 22,600 square feet of R&D, warehouse, and retail space. The Research and Development business unit is a critical component of GEM’s continued growth and success.
“Having our new R&D space will allow our engineers to construct their ideas and bring them to life with advanced 3D printing technology,” says Bridgewater.
One of the most important elements of GEM’s success is its employees, most of whom have been with the company an average of 10 years – some for more than 20.
Bridgewater states that he wants the new facility to be “an open and collaborative environment” so that GEM’s employees “can excel at what they are most passionate about.”
GEM Products, Inc. is currently growing at a rate of 20-25% each year. This continued growth, Bridgewater says, will create a 20% increase in new job opportunities over the next two to three years.
Site work began May 10, 2017, and the ground-breaking ceremony will take place June 2, 2017.