Jul 02, 2023

Stormwater pipe plant breaks ground in Alachua 

Lane Enterprises and Scherer Construction held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday for a new stormwater pipe manufacturing plant in the city of Alachua. Lane Enterprises expects the plant to generate 60 new jobs.

The site’s 100,000-square-foot facility is scheduled for completion at the end of 2024, according to Patrick Collings, Lane Enterprises president and CEO. Collings said he looks forward to growing with Alachua’s community.

“Alachua has been a fantastic community to work in,” Collings said. “And I believe that we have a unique opportunity because we are 100% ESOP.”

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ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is a program that allows employees to own part or all of the company they work for, and Lane Enterprises is 100% employee-owned, which Collings said shapes the company to care for its employees like a family business.

“Everyone’s success is our success,” Collings said.

Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper said the city is a perfect place for the company’s first Florida location because it is an ideal transportation hub. The plant will be near Interstate 75 and will also have a rail spur to send pipe across the state.

“What they do is an excellent product, and with the growth coming to Florida in the last three years, they're going to be very, very busy,” Coerper said in a phone interview. “But... this business is good for us because it provides really good jobs and benefits, and the idea is that’s what we’ve always tried to do. When we invite someone to be here, we want them to treat their employees well.”

Lane has 17 other locations with over 450 employees across the nation, but this will be its first Florida plant. The 33-acre site in the Alachua Commerce Center should create 60 jobs in the next five years, with an average $3 million annual payroll. Lane also expects its capital investment in Alachua to reach $35 million in the same five years.

Once completed, the Alachua site will produce high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) and poplypropylene pipe (PP). Collings said the site will operate non-stop 24/7 because most plastic waste is generated from starting and stopping production. Maintaining continuous production minimizes that problem.

Glory Reitz is a Mainstreet Daily News reporter based in Gainesville. She earned a degree in communication with an emphasis in journalism and has served as editor-in-chief for two college newspapers. Glory is a sucker for any good story but is especially distractible by anything pertaining to Africa or classic British literature. A big fan of long, long walks, Glory has yet to actually get lost in the woods—but that doesn’t mean she’ll stop trying.

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Where is this going to be located in Alachua? Location?