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Archbold Furniture Co. Returning To Hometown




Archbold Furniture Company will be returning to its hometown, after about 10 years in West Unity.

It was announced at the Monday night, Sept. 8, Archbold Village Council meeting that Archbold Furniture has agreed to purchase the former Young Spring & Wire company building for $1,550,000.

Lisa Arend, Fulton County Economic Development director, told council members it will bring 50 jobs to the village, plus add nine jobs at the rate of three per year for three years. The new jobs could start sooner, she said. The company plans to start production by Nov. 1.

Council agreed to transfer a community reinvestment act tax abatement agreement from Leggett & Platt, Carthage, Mo., the owners of the building, to Archbold Furniture.

Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator, said the village and Leggett & Platt agreed to allow the abatement to stay in place as an incentive to help sell the building. The Missouri company has continued to make the required donations to schools and other government entities.

Arend said the amount of the donations was negotiated with Archbold Furniture; Howell said the donation amount comes within $15 of the Leggett & Platt donation.

The donation equals about 45% of what the company would pay in property taxes.

The financial package put together for Archbold Furniture includes $350,000 from an Ohio Department of Development loan program, plus $50,000 from the Fulton County Revolving Loan Fund.

The remainder is from Signature Bank, plus money from Archbold Furniture.

West Unity

Archbold Furniture was leasing a building in West Unity. Arend said the company had conversations with its landlord, but the landlord could not match the package available in Archbold.

The 116,000 square-foot Young Spring & Wire building fits Archbold Furniture’s needs because the 50,000 square-foot addition, built in 2003, will provide plenty of warehouse space.

Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, said he is “always a little hesitant to take jobs from another community,” but noted that Archbold Furniture was looking at other sites outside Archbold as well.

“You have to remember where those jobs came from in the first place,” Kevin Morton, councilman, said.

History

Information from Archbold Buckeye files, and provided by Arend, states Archbold Furniture was an outgrowth of the Archbold Ladder Company.

The ladder company was founded in 1900 by the Edward Gigax family, who built ladders in the winter months, then sold them throughout the countryside in the spring.

The company was sold in 1915 to Clarence and William Wyse.

The company continued to grow and produced a wide variety of products, including furniture. The company constructed a building at the corner of East Mechanic Street and Lincoln Street in 1922. It was torn down within the last few years.

The company was incorporated in 1962.

In 1973, it was sold to a corporation comprised of William G. Rupp, Archbold, John Hatfi eld, Perrysburg, and William Sauder. It was renamed Archbold Industries.

In 1978, Archbold Furniture was established, recognizing the success of the furniture business.

Then, in 1997, the ladder business was sold to Keller Ladders, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Production was moved to Goshen, Ind.

In 1998, the investors sold Archbold Furniture to the present owners, Pat McNamara and Pete Gstalder. Both had joined the company in 1995. McNamara and Gstalder moved the company to West Unity that year.

Today, Archbold furniture makes solid wood fully-assembled unfinished furniture, which is sold to nearly 500 retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Young Spring & Wire

Young Spring & Wire had been in business in Archbold since 1959. The firm concentrated on wire springs for seats, mostly for the automotive industry.

At one time, any General Motors car with bucket seats utilized springs made in Archbold.

Leggett & Platt purchased the firm in 1990.

After the 2003 building addition, Leggett & Platt announced in November 2005 that the company had too much production capability, and that it was closing the doors at Young Spring & Wire. Production was set to end in May 2006, but that was pushed back to July.

The move put about 168 employees out of work.

Since then, Archbold and Fulton County officials have been working to find a new owner for the building.

Arend said she, Wyse, and Howell worked for about 18 months to arrange the sale of the building.- David Pugh


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