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Real Estate - Commercial

South-Tek Systems To Relocate Wilmington Operation To U.S. 421

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Oct 14, 2019
South-Tek Systems plans to move to a larger location to support its growing Wilmington-based operation.

The company, a designer and manufacturer of nitrogen generators, plans to relocate to a 66,000-square-foot building at 3700 U.S. 421 N. next month, according to an announcement Monday by Wilmington Business Development (WBD). WBD is a private, nonprofit organization that oversees business recruitment and industrial retention for the city of Wilmington and New Hanover and Pender counties.

South-Tek Systems' current operation is located in a 28,000-square-foot space at 2940 Orville Wright Way in the North Kerr Industrial Park.

On U.S. 421, South-Tek Systems is leasing the building and will occupy the entire 66,000 square-foot space, formerly occupied by Industrial Hardware & Marine, said Steve Hall, partner with Wilmington-based commercial real estate firm Maus, Warwick, Matthews & Co., who represented the property owner. Will Leonard, vice president of Cape Fear Commercial, represented the incoming tenant.

Industrial Hardware & Marine has moved its location to 1551 Point Harbor Road, officials with the business confirmed Monday.

The future space for South-Tek is currently undergoing renovation and will house all company operations, stated the release.

“We’re expecting tremendous growth in the next five years – people, revenue, products, everything,” Scott Bodemann, president of South-Tek Systems, said in the release.

The company, founded in 1997, was acquired last fall by Pfingsten Partners LLC, a private equity firm based out of Chicago. At the time, officials with the company said the acquisition would allow South-Tek Systems to expand in the coming years.

​Following the firm's acquisition last year, the company stepped up its search for a site that would accommodate that growth, according to the release.

WBD assisted South-Tek Systems in finding a larger space, according to the release. Those within the organization heard of a space that would fit the company's growing needs and help it make connections with an industrial real estate agent, the release stated.

“In considering both office and manufacturing space, we’ve reached the maximum capacity of South-Tek’s current facility,” Bodemann said in the release. “We are excited to transition into the larger building as it will increase our efficiencies as well as allow us to better plan for the future needs of our customers.”

Officials said in the release that the firm's continued growth includes a “major wave of reinvestment in marketing, R&D and product development.” 

It also includes hiring more employees. WBD officials said in an email Monday that the company plans to grow to about 75 employees in the next 12 months. Positions will include all levels in sales, accounting, engineering, production and service.

The firm currently employs 64 people, with 17 of those jobs added in 2019, according to the release. The new location, officials said, is easily accessible to its employees, who commute from around the tri-county area.

South-Tek Systems sells nitrogen generators and related products to buyers that include utilities, petrochemical producers, manufacturers, energy providers and others, stated the release. Its customer base also includes distributors, governments and military organizations.

“We’re positioned really well in most markets,” Bodemann said in the release. “We aren’t limited in our end-users.”

The company sells all over the world, but its primary market is in the United States. Nearly all of its raw materials are sourced domestically, stated the release.
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