Dart Container is finishing construction on two new buildings that are part of the Mason company's largest local expansion. After more than 50 years of business in Mason, it's a change the company was ready for.
"It obviously helps to have the space you need for the employees that are required for this operation," said Executive Vice President of Manufacturing at Dart, Dan Calkins.
It's a big upgrade for the company, which invested close to $50 million to build a new warehouse and office building. That's enough space to accommodate the Solo Cup Company Dart acquired in 2012.
"This dramatic growth certainly has its challenges and we needed to grow both our warehousing facilities, so we've added over half a million square feet and we had to add to our office facilities," Calkins added.
The new buildings are full of high-tech upgrades. In the warehouse a self-driving loading cart and motion-sensor LED lights are making business more efficient. The bottom floor of the office building has a training space for up to 150 employees.
All that change means Dart can expand its local distribution services. That's helping to create more than 400 new positions at the company.
"When Dart purchased Solo we did not purchase it to be that size of a company we purchased it so that it would be a platform for continued growth," Calkins said.
Dart's expansion is not stopping there. The company is investing an additional $10 million to renovate buildings at the Mason site. Those changes will include a 10,000 square foot fitness center and adding more office space.
The company's growth goes beyond its operations, it's also helping the local economy.
"Definitely have a booming business market in Mason, we've got a lot of business now for our restaurants and our retail businesses as well," said Doug Klein, Executive Director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce.
Klein says housing is getting tight close to downtown, especially for rental properties. Growing pains they like to see, and according to Dart this is just the beginning.
"Dart has a long 50 year history of continued growth and we certainly expect that to continue going forward from here," Calkins added.
The company has 150 job openings right now. Most of those are in the engineering and IT fields, but there are other openings for positions at the warehouse and in administration.