Commission OKs site plan for Carmex

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

June 13, 2019

The latest artist’s rendering of what the proposed new Carmex Precision Tool facility in Hartford’s Dodge Industrial Park will look like when construction is completed.

HARTFORD — The site plan to allow the construction of a new Carmex Precision Tool location in the city’s Dodge Industrial Park was approved earlier this week by the Plan Commission.

The company, now located in Richfield, purchased the 2.5-acre site in the northwest part of the industrial park from the city last year after a new certified survey map was created.

“They still must submit their landscaping plan for the property within the next 90 days,” City Planner Justin Drew told the commission.

Drew said no manufacturing will take place at the Hartford location, but the building will be a site for the company’s area sales team and for storage of some product.

Carmex specializes in the production of threading tools for turning and milling.

“The production facility is located in Israel and the proposed Hartford facility is an independent sales and distribution center that serves all of North America,” Drew said. “The lot size will allow for future expansion.”

Drew said at the time of the property purchase last year that the agreement includes language about the city and Carmex working toward a development agreement and provides Carmex with incentives from TIF District 9 in which the land is located.

“Staff believes the incentive that TIF District 9 would be able to provide would likely be limited to engineering work to remove adjacent lands from the flood plain that would allow Carmex to ‘square out’ the property to accommodate additional growth when that becomes imminent,” Drew said.

The exterior of Carmex Precision Tool as seen in this July 2 photo in Richfield.
File photo

Hartford Area Development Corp. Executive Director Tom Hostad said earlier that Carmex needs more space than it has in the building it now rents in Richfield.

“They’ve outgrown their current facility and with this move they will also own the property,” Hostad said. “The new building will be of modest size, but they will have room for expansion later. Because they have customers all over the country there is a lot of shipping that takes place out of their facility.”

Company President Jeff Dai said earlier that “the new building will be double the size of where we are now — between 6,000-8,000 square feet.”

“We’re cramped where we are now. There’s things where they shouldn’t be,” Dai said. “Shelving units and inventory are all over the place and the office space is cramped also. In the future we could easily put in an expansion of another 20,000-30,000 square feet and have plenty of space left on our lot.”

Drew said the street-facing facade of the building along Innovation Way would be composed of a cultured stone wainscoting, two different grade finishes of cement board and numerous windows on the north, east and west facades.

Drew said the company’s current plan calls for a 6inch water line for service, but the company needs to talk to the city Water Utility superintendent first.

“Because there will only be four bathrooms and no fire protection system, there is concern that there may be a water quality issue in the future since the water in building won’t be used heavily,” Drew said. Commissioners said that could cause water to taste stale and a smaller water line could solve that problem.

Drew said the company also needs to contact the utility superintendent about the location of the water meter and its size and about the location and size of the electric meter. The company has submitted a lighting plan that Drew said met all of the city’s requirements. It’s hoped construction could begin within the next few months.