A Decatur duo is bringing two newcomers and their high-end custom architectural millwork business, Renaissance Reclaimed, to downtown Decatur.
Brent Collins and Benji Heidecker purchased the property at 13 Walnut St. N.E. with their company, CMIYC LLC, on Tuesday.
CMIYC will lease the 13,200-square-foot building to Stephen Wessling, who is moving to Decatur from South Carolina. Built in 1986, the building was once a boxing club and most recently was the home of a woodworking business but it has been empty for several years.
Renovation of the building is expected to begin Monday and finish by the end of the year.
Brent Collins and Heidecker partnered with Brent's brother, Brooks, and Eric Johnson in the renovation of the 130-year-old historic building on the corner of Bank and Church streets into an office building in late 2018 and early 2019. Brent Collins and Heidecker were the contractors on the project.
Jeremy Nails, president and chief executive officer of the Morgan County Economic Development Association, said Brent Collins and Heidecker did well in fitting the Church Street building in with the rest of downtown. He said the Walnut Street building is a metal building so it has its limitations, but the plan is to create a showroom for visitors to go along with a production area.
"They will try to dress up the entrance and make it look nice," Nails said.
Wessling said his company will provide creative designs for front entryways with large turned columns and doors. It also will make custom cabinetry, hardwood countertops, crown and base moldings, chair railings, build-to-order tables, mantles, barn doors and artistic signs.
“Many of our projects incorporate beautiful inlays of epoxies, coppers, aluminum, acrylics and iron works,” Wessling said.
Eventually 11 employees
Wessling plans to start with four employees, and he expects to employ 11 people in the next three years making an average annual salary of $50,000. Schoel-Markland Architecture is handling the design for the building’s renovation. Shane Odom, of MarMac Real Estate, aided in the purchase of the building.
Barney Lovelace, attorney for the Decatur Industrial Development Board, said Tuesday at the board’s meeting that Collins was telling him how talented Wessling is.
“This is a good operation to have in the downtown area, and we’re getting an old building refurbished,” Lovelace said.
Collins and Heidecker are already partners in Core Enterprises, which focuses on industrial and commercial roof. Collins said a mutual friend connected them with Wessling, who formerly ran a cabinet shop in Anderson, South Carolina.
A Huntsville native, Wessling has been in South Carolina since 1993. One of the draws to Decatur is he will be moving closer to his father, Heidecker said.
Wessling is bringing Adam and Heather Lever from South Carolina. Adam Lever will be a partner through Renaissance Reclaimed’s employee holdings program. Heather Lever will also be working with the company, Wessling said.
Heidecker and Wessling said the growth of the area with the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant and other companies moving in was also a big attraction. Heidecker said there’s need for Wessling’s high-end craftsmanship.
“Decatur has a promise of growth and the partners here in business believe in building up the community and creating a facility that has the desire to teach, train and groom its employees to become leaders,” Wessling said in a text.
The Industrial Development Board of Decatur approved abatements for CMIC LLC and Renaissance Reclaimed at Tuesday’s meeting.
CMIYC’s estimated capital project expense is $550,000, and the board approved $31,080 in tax abatements for the company.
The abatements feature $22,330 over 10 years in non-educational taxes from Decatur, Morgan County, $5,000 in state sales and use tax and $3,750 in city sales and use tax.
CMIC expects to create $27,500 over 10 years in property tax revenues for Decatur, Hartselle and Morgan County school systems. It also expects to pay $1,250 in sales and uses taxes during the period of capital investment that will benefit the county’s three school systems.
The board approved $26,250 in abatements for Renaissance, which plans a $725,000 capital investment. This includes $19,250 over 10 years of abated state, city and Morgan County non-educational personal property taxes; $3,000 in Decatur sales taxes and $4,000 in state sales and use taxes during the capital investment period.
Renaissance expects to pay $23,700 over 10 years in property taxes that will go to Decatur, Hartselle and Morgan County school systems. It will create $1,000 in sales and use taxes during its capital investment that will benefit these school systems.