Needing space for its continuing growth, PDQ Industries has started constructing a $8.5 million plant in Lime Spring Square off Rohrerstown Road.
The new facility will consolidate three PDQ locations into one while giving the door-hardware company enough room for its workforce to rise from 70 now to a projected 100 over the next 18 months.
“The future looks good. We just have to work hard,” said Bill Tell, PDQ co-founder, owner and chief executive officer.
Now based in Leola, PDQ Industries makes a wide array of products for commercial and institutional buildings such as offices, schools and hotels as well as multi-family buildings and assisted living facilities.
These include door locks, closures, handles, kick plates, hinges, stops, bolts, panic bars and mullions (vertical bars in doors that usually separate panes of glass).
PDQ was founded in 1980 by Tell and Sidney Lieberman as an importer of door hardware made in Japan. Tell became the sole owner in 1988.
When its Japanese supplier fell on hard times, Tell decided in 1993 that PDQ would start developing and making and/or assembling its own products, rather than search for a substitute supplier of finished products.
“It took us five or six years to transport ourselves from an importer to a manufacturing/assembly company,” said Tell.
Sales have grown as its product line has broadened, he said. The longer list of products helped PDQ sales rise 13.5 percent in 2017 to about $30 million.
In June, the product line will widen more, when PDQ starts making electronic locks developed for PDQ over the past three years by a firm in Chicago.
Tell predicted that the debut of its electronic products will contribute to a 15 percent to 20 percent increase in sales this year.
That would not be the only notable event for 2018.
In September, PDQ expects to move into its new 80,000-square-foot building at Embassy Drive and Running Pump Road in East Hempfield Township.
The new building, on 7.8 acres acquired from Lime Spring developer Oak Tree Development, can be expanded by 30,000 square feet in the future. Handling the real estate transaction were Dan Berger and Dan Berger Jr. of U.S. Commercial Realty.
The new building will consolidate operations in PDQ’s current headquarters of 48,000 square feet at 2754 Creek Hill Road, Leola, and in two leased spaces off site.
As you might expect, Tell is enthusiastic about his company’s future address in Lime Spring Square, a mixed-use development adjoining Lime Spring Farm, also an Oak Tree venture.
Lime Spring Square, he said, is “pretty much in the middle of everything. It has quality buildings. It’s being developed by a very professional group of guys. You can look around and know it’s going to be a class A business park. It’s all very positive.”
Besides providing needed room for his company to keep growing, the project also fulfills a personal goal for Tell — positioning the firm for the day he’s succeeded by his son Logan, a PDQ vice president who’s spent six years at the company.
“We wouldn’t be doing this, if I didn’t have anybody to take (the business) over,” said Tell, 71. “We’re going to build the building, then I’m going to start phasing out. Logan has been here for a while, so it should be a good transition.”
Tell sold the Leola building in September for $2.6 million to Creek Hill LLC. The Bergers and Harold Bare of Hostetter Realty handled the transaction.
Creek Hill is led by Melvin L. Fisher, owner of Lantz Structures on West Newport Road in Ronks. Fisher also is a founder of Bank of Bird-in-Hand.
Fisher bought the building with the help of a $1.3 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan. PIDA announced it was backing the project in July.
Arranging the financing was Lancaster-based EDC Finance, a nonprofit that connects companies with state or federal funding.
According to PIDA, Creek Hill LLC will operate the building as a multi-tenant facility for industrial uses. Its first tenant is PDQ, which is leasing back the building until it moves.