Serta to open Lockhart factory
By LPR Staff
After several months of work with the City of Lockhart Economic Development department and Caldwell County, Serta Mattress has decided to purchase property in Lockhart.
Serta officials announced last week that the company has purchased the old Kewaunee building located on FM 20 East. Dormae Products, Ltd., a long-time ma
nufacturer of Serta mattresses, plans to upgrade the facility and move their operation from Austin to Lockhart.
“This is an excellent opportunity to keep a well-established and long time employer in the area,” said Jerry Heare, a representative for Kewaunee in the sale. “The Lockhart team did their homework and worked diligently to attract Serta.”
Dormae Products, Ltd. sold their Austin facility to Capital Metro, prompting the move. They have been scouting Central Texas for more than six months, trying to find a new location that would be good fit for the family-owned company.
“The City of Lockhart was very welcoming and helpful throughout the entire process,” said Michael Karotkin, Vice-President of Serta Austin, whose grandfather Milton Smith has owned and operated the factory for more than 45 years.
According to figures prepared by the City of Lockhart, the factory should bring more than 30 new jobs to Lockhart with the factory alone. Sandra Mauldin, Lockhart”s Economic Development Director, also expects that Caldwell County can expect to see growth in secondary jobs in areas such as food service, grocery stores and convenience stores.
“Many of the workers will relocate here,” Mauldin said. “They will also be here for lunch, buy gas here… there are all kinds of jobs that could be created by this move.”
Presently, the factory employs 140 employees.
Earlier this month, both the Lockhart City Council and the Caldwell County Commissioners voted to offer the factory 100 percent tax abatement for a period of 10 years. The abatement will apply only to any new construction or upgrades made to the facility. Taxes on existing structures that are not updated will not be abated.
Serta expects to relocate to the Lockhart facility within the next 18 months. Prior to the move, they plan to do between $750,000 and $1 million in upgrades to the facility, including expanding the existing loading docks.
Mauldin said that there would be a possibility for local trucking companies to receive shipping contracts after Serta moves in.
“Most of the material coming in will be coming from elsewhere,” she said. “But this factory produces Serta mattresses for this entire region, so they have a lot of shipping going out.”
Serta is a bedding brand leader and the manufacturer of the best-selling premium mattress in America. The company has 26 manufacturing facilities across the United States and additional locations worldwide.