The Tile Store planning new center in Durant

DURANT, Okla. — A new manufacturing and distribution center in Durant will mean 60 new jobs for the region and several million dollars in investment. Durant officials announced plan on Tuesday to bring The Tile Shop to the city to open a new manufacturing and distribution center.

“It’s an exciting day for … our community,” said Durant Industrial Authority Executive Director Tommy Kramer. “Again we’ve been truly blessed with an out-of-state company wanting to come here and create jobs.”

The company manufactures all the products necessary for residential tile instillation and distributes title and its products to showroom stores across the country. The jobs are expected to be created over three years with an average wage of $22,880 to $29,120. Kramer said the deal is a $16 million project and federal, state and local incentives for the company are expected to total approximately $2 million.

He said the Oklahoma Department of Commerce will provide job training to employees and the Durant Industrial Authority is providing a $500,000 no-interest equipment loan. The deal also includes a five-year tax abatement for the manufacturing portion. Kramer said all the details of the incentives haven’t been finalized yet.

“It’s clear to me … that The Title Shop and Durant and Bryan County have chosen not to participate in the slow down of the last few years,” said Durant Mayor Jerry Tomlinson.

The Tile Shop Senior Vice President of Operations Joe Kinder said the 27-year-old company has had its four best years since the economy dipped in 2008. He said the company controls its own supply chain, distribution and retail and said that is why it has been able to secure a “bigger piece of the pie” even as the home construction sector has suffered.

The Tile Shop currently has 64 stores and plans for 100 more. Most stores are currently in the eastern portion of the United States, but Kinder said the company has aspirations to become a national company.

The Durant distribution center will occupy the 150,000-square-foot building at 1800 W. Arkansas, and the company will build a 35,000-square-foot building on the site for its manufacturing. Kinder said the company hopes to close on the building on Dec. 20 and immediately begin improvements.

Operations in Durant should be up and running by April or May, and the distribution center will immediately serve eight stores. Two new stores in Denver and two in Dallas are planned for the near future Kinder said.

“This distribution center, probably within three years, could be serving 30 stores,” Kinder said. The new distribution center will make stores possible in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, according to information provided by the company.