New year to bring life to vacant Merillat plant

JACKSON— Some very exciting news was announced in Tuesday night’s, end of year, Jackson City Council meeting, when Mayor Randy Heath put out a release that the Merillat plant will soon have new life breathed into it.

Heath announced that Sherwood 23 Holdings, LLC., had purchased the site to be operated by Taylor Lumber Worldwide, Inc., which has been in operation in various forms of the lumber industry for 125 years. They are based in Scioto County, but they ship lumber internationally.

Taylor Lumber makes a lot of good wood. The company produces hardwood lumber and flooring for the construction industry. While it is known the use of the Merillat site will be lumber related, the exact use and future plans for the site have not been released at this time.

They are hoping to employ between 25 and 75 employees initially at the Jackson site, depending on the exact use of the facility, but could potentially grow larger if ancillary industries join them at the facility.

They purchase logs, white and red oak, ash, cherry, walnut, hickory, and hard maple, from within a 300-mile radius of their southern Ohio location to produce lumber.

Taylor Lumber is capable of producing and shipping 100,000 feet of plain sawn and rift and quartered lumber a day. Its flooring plant can manufacture 25,000 square feet of hardwood plank a day, sold as Taylor Brand Solid Flooring and McDermott Series Engineered Flooring.

They ship to more than 40 countries throughout the world. Founded in 1882, Taylor Lumber was acquired by Resilience Capital Partners in 2010.

Heath stated in his news release that Taylor Lumber Worldwide was drawn to the Merillat site because of the size and location of the facility, nearby rail access and the prime condition of the building.

Operation is slated to begin sometime in 2015, although no official start-up date has been determined.

Once the news was released, Council-At-Large member Eric Brown, who was serving as president protem for Ron Speakman, who was absent, stated, “I played no part in seeing this come to fruition, but when Merillat announced they were closing, I made the comment that anyone going into that building would be in the lumber business.”

Brown added, “While it won’t employ as many as Merillat did, it will provide employment opportunities. We started out with salt in this area, then apples, and now its lumber and coal. We really need to take care of those resources.”

Council-At-Large member Loretta Jones gave a special thank-you to Jennifer Jacobs, the executive director of Economic Development, who was sitting in on the meeting, for her role in helping to bring Taylor Lumber to Jackson.

“I know there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into making something like this happen,” Jones said, “And I know you don’t always get the credit you deserve, so I want to say thank you.”

From Jackson County Daily  |  Posted December 31, 2014, Updated January 5, 2015

By Felicia Tackett Times-Journal Writer

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