Keystone Warehousing opens in Marietta
Open house held along Greene Street
MARIETTA — It started as a high school dream.
“That’s when I knew I wanted to go into real estate,” said 20-year-old Noah Hukill, partner in Marietta’s new business, Keystone Warehousing.
The $2-million real estate investment has joined the ranks of the many industrial businesses along Greene Street and was welcomed by more than 40 people during the open house recently.
The area of Marietta is known for its industrial ties, having developed around the Remington Rand era of the 1950s and continuing development as Ohio 26. And business is still growing along the stretch of Greene that’s not in the downtown borders. There are three specialty doctors’ offices along the road within city limits, factories like Vanguard Paints and Broughton Foods and retail stores for the trades like Pioneer Masonry Supply and Contractors Building Supply.
Closer to Marietta’s downtown along Greene one sees more retail, front-end business and office spaces like Marietta Paints, Cascade Oil and Technical Services and Valu Vacs still booming-though the old Remington Rand-Kardex site is still used as storage. As recently as 2014, there were plans to develop the space into an apartment complex but that vision seemed to stall following an environmental study. Owner John Lehman couldn’t be reached for comment on the site.
Meanwhile, Keystone’s first tenant is Noah’s father and partner, Pat Hukill and his company ARC Resin, which has always called Marietta home, though its last location was down the road at Doubletree Warehouses.
“They were outgrowing his other business site, Doubletree Warehouses, that he owns with Paul Bertram,” said Noah. “Now here he and my uncle have room to expand their business and we have space to host other wares for other medium-sized companies too.”
Pat Hukill said the expansion and change in locations was needed after seeing orders increase. The ARC inventory increased alongside that demand by more than 50 percent to make order filling and delivery faster.
Hukill’s brother and vice president of ARC, Mike Hukill, said the business is primarily the middle-man for industrial plastic molders between suppliers across both the nation and the world.
“We have over 20 different companies we buy from and sell for,” Mike said. “And these, depending on the grade, can go into your house, some electronics, internal parts in vertical blinds, into the plastic fastenings in your cars or even into gears and lights.”
Mike said the pellets are sold to injection molders who make the end product that appears on the shelves.
But ARC only takes up about one-third of the new 60,000-square-foot warehouse space and its eight offices and conference room.
“The need for storage facilities for business like this is ever-present,” said Bob Kirkbride, director emeritus of WesBanco, after touring the building Monday. “In a good warehouse you need both drive-in doors and doors on a dock and space like this, clean space. I predict it they will fill up quickly.”
Noah said the whole process took about three years between convincing his father to invest in his dream, to finding the right property, getting the city on board for a zoning exemption and building.
“Originally this area was zoned for only 12,000 square feet,” he said. “That wouldn’t have been worth the investment. But once dad realized we could put his business in here that dream of 30,000 square feet grew. Next it was 40,000 then 60,000.”
Carrie Ankrom, director of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, noted the location of the warehouse is right on the state route and has ease of access to the interstate Monday.
“This is a great example of business expansion in the Marietta area,” she said. “And it’s so easy to get here and have access to the storage area, that’s a big thing.”
ARC isn’t the only company to have grown over the years and benefited from Ohio 26’s traffic.
“We have eight businesses using our Doubletree Warehouses for storage space with more space available and there’s office space too,” said Pat Hukill.
Peggy Grimm, owner of Pioneer Masonry Supply, said since opening in 1983 at the corner of Greene and Acme streets, where the state route now turns, she’s seen the business continue to grow.
“That’s always been a busy corner with great visibility,” she said. “We are carrying a lot more products than we used to because people come to our stores not only from Washington and Wood counties but from the adjoining counties as well.”