Preciball USA, the world leader in the manufacturing and supply of industrial ball bearings, became the newest Pooler resident on Tuesday as officials cut the ribbon to the company’s new North American distribution center in the Westside Business Park on Highway 80.
Don Peak, vice president of Preciball USA first relocated the center to the Georgetown area in 2010, where he rented a smaller building. Preciball currently occupies about half of the 40,000 square-foot building with two other businesses leasing the remaining space, but Peak expects the growth to continue.
“This facility is unique for several reasons, one is that it’s obviously larger and when I designed it to house us for the next 10 to 20 years,” Peak said.
“As we grow and those leases expire we’ll start to push forward to the other sections of the building,” he said.
The new Pooler facility will distribute the ball bearings, which are mostly manufactured in Belgium, across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The ball bearings are used in variety of products including, ball point pens, cans of spray paint, nail polish bottles, cabinet hardware and within the automotive industry.
Along with high-efficiency warehouse lighting, HVAC equipment, dock-high loading doors and dock levelers the building also features translucent paneling throughout to optimize natural lighting. The building took just over a year to complete and was constructed by Dewitt Tilton Group of Savannah.
“One of the more interesting aspects of this project was placing the building on a very challenging site, but we were able to come up with a design that fits well in the space and works well with high-volume truck traffic,” said Chris Tilton, president and co-founder of Dewitt Tilton Group.
The group was also recently recognized by Star Building Systems with a Master Builder Award for its Preciball project.
“We won the best commercial building for the mid-south region and there were about 400 builders there, so it’s a pretty prestigious award,” Tilton said.
The proximity to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, the Georgia Port, interstates I-95 and I-16 were a key factor in the company’s decision to select the Pooler site and Mayor Mike Lamb said the center is an exciting addition to the city’s growing economy and workforce.
“People are shipping and receiving in this area and that creates more jobs,” Lamb said.
“We’re not just getting businesses that are service businesses, we’re getting businesses that are giving us jobs.”