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VOL. 10 | NO. 26 | Saturday, June 24, 2017

Resource Label Group Paved a Road From Lamar to New Bartlett Facility


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After more than 20 years at their facility near Lamar Avenue, Resource Label Group officials wanted to move to a bigger and better place.

Dawn Jones, operations and administration manager for Resource Label, and Bartlett Chamber president John Threadgill worked to find Resource a new facility. (Submitted)

After looking around Shelby County, they settled on Bartlett, largely due to the suburban town’s atmosphere and family nature.

“It’s a nice area. It’s clean, it’s safe, it’s family friendly,” said Dawn Jones, the operations and administration manager for Resource’s Memphis facility. “Why not, really? Why wouldn’t you (pick Bartlett)?”

Today, work is continuing on the company’s new, $6 million, 32,400-square-foot facility in the northeast suburb, with an expected opening at 7915 Stage Road next January. Resource prints what are called “prime” labels, the kind usually seen on commercial products.

But how they got to that point wasn’t quite as easy as it might sound.

“When Dawn came, she said, ‘How can you get me in Bartlett? I want to be in Bartlett,’” said John Threadgill, president of the city’s Chamber of Commerce. “That’s a good problem to have.”

In early 2016, Jones and Bartlett officials started looking for an existing building that Resource Label could take over.

“The problem was, there was no space in Bartlett large enough to accommodate their needs,” Threadgill said. “The largest freestanding building was about 15,000-20,000 square feet.”

With that option gone, Jones and Threadgill began looking for an available plot of land that could accommodate that much square footage. Another wrinkle: Resource had no interest in owning the land or property, as they do with their Lamar Avenue facility.

And yet another wrinkle: Bartlett requires facilities of this type to devote 35 percent of the property to greenscaping. So they had to find enough land to not only build the facility, but surround it with grass and trees.

“We said, ‘There is land, and would you consider building?’” Threadgill recalls. “She said, ‘Yes, but we don’t want to own.’ We had to, of course, find a piece of property.”

Resource Label's current location at 4111 Viscount Ave. in Memphis. The company will soon be relocating to a more centrally located office space in Bartlett (not sure of the exact address). (Memphis News/Houston Cofield)

While looking at sites, Jones had noticed two parcels on Stage Road that, together, were big enough. However, she initially thought one of them had already been sold. Later, though, she found out that only half a parcel had been sold, leaving just enough land – 2.5 acres – to fit her facility. Suddenly, they had found the land.

But still, nothing could move forward yet. Because Resource Label didn’t want to own the property, officials had to find a developer who would not only buy the land but also build the facility and lease it back to Resource.

“To make that happen, a lot of things had to happen,” Threadgill said. “First of all, you’ve got to have a company that has a good solid financial (track) record. Then they want to make sure that they’re teaming up with somebody who knows what they’re doing and can find the best price.”

Enter Agracel, a company based in southern Illinois that was looking to expand into the Memphis area. Threadgill reached out to them, and ultimately, they took on the project.

“We could not pass up the opportunity to partner with Resource Label Group on their new facility located in Bartlett,” Agracel spokesman Daniel Webb said in a statement. “The build-to-suit project will be situated in a growing community and well-established park that affords Agracel a great deal of comfort in regards to the protection of our long-term investment.”

Agracel then partnered with Jesco, a local contractor. Jesco brought in Memphis engineering and architecture firm A2H.

That’s when Danny McKee, a senior associate principal at A2H, became involved. He admitted that crafting designs for the building weren’t that easy.

“Bartlett requires a certain amount of greenspace on their industrial projects. That was one challenge, to get that much greenspace on the property. But we did,” McKee said. “It was just that you do have limits on your space that just require a little more innovation in design.”

The entire project was accomplished without any state or local tax incentives, Threadgill said, in part because Resource Label didn’t meet the threshold for adding new employees. They hope, however, to add a night shift and go from 21 employees to about 30, Jones said.

With those plans complete, construction finally began earlier this spring. Construction has gone so well that the project is a little ahead of schedule, said Jesco’s Sid McMillan.

“I can’t remember a project that went that well, from our perspective as contractors,” McMillan said. “My end of the project has been just boring.”

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