Peerless Manufacturing Co. broke ground on a more than 30-acre lot Wednesday near Denton Airport.
Slated to open next summer, the approximately 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility — with room for expansion — more than triples the size of the company’s current approximately 22,000-square-foot facility in the 1100 block of Duncan Street. The new facility’s price tag totals about $9 million, according to company officials.
Peerless officials say they plan to consolidate some of the company’s facilities and expand operations with the opening of the new facility on Dakota Lane. Officials added that when the facility is fully operational, the company looks to employ about 160 people.
More than 40 people braved the heat, some with water bottles in hand, looking on as Peter Burlage, the company’s president and CEO, gave some remarks about the expansion.
City officials and representatives connected with the project took turns at photo opportunities in front of shovels planted in a neat pile of dirt.
“It’s been a long process getting to this day, but we’re here,” Burlage said. “We’re excited about the opportunity.”
Peerless brought its business to Denton in the mid 1970s, starting out in a gas station, Burlage said. The existing plant will move all operations to Dakota Lane once the new facility opens, he said.
The plant primarily will separate solids and liquids out of natural gas, Burlage said, as well as build components for nuclear power generation and create pollution-control equipment for power plants and refineries. Half the equipment manufactured by the company is used for projects in the United States while the other half is used globally, he said.
Peerless Manufacturing Co. was founded by Donald Sillers in 1933. In addition to its Denton facility, the Dallas-based company also has facilities in Cisco, Wichita Falls and Zhenjiang, China, Burlage said.
Linda Ratliff, director of economic development for the city of Denton, said she’s happy Peerless chose Denton as its location for expansion.
Several jobs, including engineering positions, are being created by the expansion at an average annual wage of $50,000, she said, and the company is adding value to the tax rolls with the new facility and equipment. The facility alone is estimated to add $15 million to tax rolls, Ratliff said.
In addition to constructing the new facility, Ratliff said Peerless also extended Dakota Lane from the Corbin Business Park to Airport Road.
“We’re excited about their expansion,” she said. “It means their business is good. If it’s good for them, it’s good for Denton as well.”
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is email@example.com .