Company maintains Cleveland address while making room for 600-ton stamping press
Talan Products needs space to install a 600-ton stamping press, but it wants to keep its trendy address.
You know, the one that says “Cleveland.”
So the metal stamping company has negotiated terms with its new landlord, a partnership led by real estate investor Joseph Greenberg, and is preparing a site for the new press in its existing building, 18800 Cochran Ave. Once the press is in this spring, the company won't be easily moved, either, since the massive machine needs its own foundation, which will be eight feet deep.
“We had to figure out where we were going to go. ... When you have a press like that, you don't want to move it,” said Talan CEO and co-founder Steve Peplin.
The company turned down a chance to move to Euclid, which had a building Peplin said was available and “fantastic,” and will remain in the Collinwood neighborhood that has been its home since it began operations in 1986.
The Euclid building was a little nicer, but a little more expensive, too. It had room to grow, but doing so would have required building it out, Peplin said.
By staying put, Talan not only doesn't have to move, but it can expand in the future simply by knocking down walls. It occupies about 150,000 square feet in a building that has total space of 750,000 square feet, more of which is available if Talan needs it.
“Plus, we get to stay in Cleveland, where it's really cool and things are growing,” Peplin added.
The company, which ranked 45th in Crain's Cleveland Business' Fast 50 companies in 2014, has been growing at about a 20% annual rate for the last couple of years, Peplin said. Its core business — stamping out brackets, braces, clamps and other hardware for the construction industry — has bounced back nicely from the recession.
Meanwhile, its other core business of automotive parts has held steady, and its new business of stamping parts for solar power installations has taken off.
Sales grew from $25 million in 2013 to $30 million in 2014, and Peplin thinks they'll increase by another 20% this year.
The company also hired 10 people last year, bringing its current payroll to 65 people, and it's looking for more.
“We're hiring all kinds of people — press operators, die makers and supervisors,” Peplin said.
The decision to stay put was not an easy one. So many people expected the company to move that Peplin sent out an email to customers and other constituents at the end of January to let them know he was staying put.
“For a little more money, I could have a lot nicer building,” Peplin said.
“But the other building was more expensive, had longer-term commitments and it didn't have easy expansion opportunities. Here, we can expand with very little costs and disruption.”
But it was staying in Cleveland that was perhaps the most important part of the equation, Peplin said. Cleveland, he said, is developing a nice reputation with people from outside the region.
So, it didn't matter that city economic development officials had no money or real incentives to offer him.
“We love being in Cleveland. Talan has always been in Cleveland, for 28 years,” Peplin said.