Premier Manufacturing Inc., a Spokane Valley precision sheet-metal fabricator, has absorbed I-90 Express Finishing Inc., an affiliated powder-coating concern, and is moving the two operations into the former Ice World building, in Liberty Lake.
The corporate change took effect Jan. 1, says Kevin Collins, who previously owned both companies with his wife Keri Collins, and father-in-law, Chuck Lormis, and now owns Premier with the same partners. Collins says the two operations both will continue, but both now will do business under the name Premier Manufacturing.
Premier bought the former Ice World building, at 21510 E. Mission, from AmericanWest Bank in October. AmericanWest had taken over ownership of the 35,000-square-foot building in 2001 through a foreclosure.
Collins says Premier has removed 240 yards of dirt that had been beneath the ice in the structure, and replaced it with concrete. It gradually has been moving its two operations there since November, and expects to finish the move by the end of this month, he says.
Premier and I-90 Express had been sharing about 30,000 square feet of leased space at 225 N. Ella, in Spokane Valley. Another year was left on that lease, and Premier is trying to sublet the property.
We needed more useable space, Collins says of the move.
The two companies had employed a total of about 120 people a year ago, but that number has fallen to 42, partly due to the September sale of I-90 Expresss operation in Redmond, Wash. That operation, under new ownership, now employs 25 people. Another reason for the cutback in employees was a decision to stop serving customers who were in arrears in payments, says Collins.
The future of the company looks promising, he says. We expect to experience another 20 percent of revenue growth in 2005, says Collins.
In 1993, Collins opened I-90 Express in Spokane. He launched Premier Manufacturing here in 2001.
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