SVH Group To Expand

January 13, 2006
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HOLLAND — Steketee-Van Huis Inc. intends to expand its commercial printing and packaging operations with the addition of 12,000 square feet of space to its facility on West Fourth Street.

The new square footage will be added to the northwest side of the company’s existing 57,000-square-foot building to accommodate the growth the company experienced in 2005 and the continued growth it expects to see this year, said Bill Ockerlund, vice chairman and chief financial officer. The expanded area will house additional printing and folding carton operations.

All told, SVH will invest up to $4.1 million in the project, which will include the purchase of new equipment. Ockerlund said he expects the project will get under way in the next couple of months and that the building will be ready for occupancy around August. He said that architecturally and structurally, the addition will blend with the building’s existing design.

SVH will receive $116,000 in Tax Increment Financing from the city of Holland. The financing method allows local officials to designate an area for improvement and then earmark any future growth in property tax revenues in the area to pay for predetermined development expenditures there.

Ockerlund said the site was eligible for brownfield designation, as well, so the company applied to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and subsequently qualified for a brownfield Single Business Tax credit valued at $410,000. Brownfield designation allows property owners to claim a credit against their Single Business Tax for 10 percent of the cost of the investment made.

The project will create 10 new jobs over time, Ockerlund noted. It was one of five new projects Gov. Jennifer Grandholm announced late last month that are expected to create 1,074 jobs collectively and generate more than $221.7 million in private investment in Michigan.

James Epolito, president and CEO of the development corporation, said none of the projects would have happened without the “collaborative efforts of local, company and state officials.”

“We continue to work diligently with our local partners and business customers to assure the continued vitality of communities,” he said when the projects were announced.

Ockerlund said he and co-owner Ted Etheridge, president and CEO, were pleased with the state’s desire to help promote business in Michigan.

“In this environment, it’s something that’s necessary to compete with not only the U.S. but the offshore competition that we’re all experiencing. The state’s help definitely made it easier to make the decision to go forward with the expansion. I’m not sure we would have without that.”

SVH serves clients all over the country, particularly clients in such sectors as pharmaceuticals, education, entertainment, specialty foods, point-of-purchase materials, greeting cards and commercial printing.

The company added mailing and fulfillment operations to its service menu last spring and those operations are housed in a separate facility. However, the packaging/folding carton division of the business is the largest of the three, followed by printing.

The Steketee and Van Huis families established the company in the early 1920s. Ockerlund and Etheridge purchased the business from the second generation of family owners in the late 1990s. The company now employs approximately 160. 

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