A new sign company with a familiar name is bringing an $84,000 investment and four new jobs to its new location in Sherman’s Central Business District.


The Sherman Economic Development Corp.’s board of directors recently approved a $14,000 incentive agreement for NorthStar Signs & Graphics, which will be opening at 316 West Lamar St.


“They’re starting off small — it’s only four jobs — but you know, we do small and we do the behemoths too, and everything in between,” SEDCO Executive Vice President Frank Gadek said of working with the commercial sign company. “So it’s all good. It’s commercial signs, where they’ll do big block letter or steel signs, whatever it takes — they do a variety of things.”


Gadek explained NorthStar Signs’ owners are spending $84,000 on equipment for their new operation and planning to hire four new employees. He said SEDCO’s $14,000 incentive for the company will be paid in two $7,000 installments over the next year.


NorthStar Signs’ Trace Calverley recently appeared before the Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission to get an exception to allow the company’s new sign at 316 West Lamar Street to be just over four feet from the front property line instead of the normally required 25 feet.


“For the last 19 years, my wife and I operated a business of this kind in McKinney,” Calverley said. “We were really an integral part in helping McKinney grow and had a very good visual presence with many of the businesses moving into the area. We decided to relocate here to Sherman two years ago and we have plans to try to get a business like that going here. We saw a need in this area to help visually to help businesses.”


NorthStar Signs previously operated in Sherman under another owner, but Calverley will retain the company’s existing phone number, even incorporating it into the planned sign for the business presented to the commission’s board of adjustments.


“We landed this nice property right here on Sherman on West Lamar,” he said of the building on West Lamar owned by Los Hermanos Partnership LLC. “We’re simply trying to ask to utilize the existing sign pole because the building sits back just a little bit. I think with the visual presence, it can draw people coming down a one-way street — it will help a lot.”


Calverley told the commission the planned sign will have elements that will light up, but there won’t be any moving graphics. He said the lower portion of the sign will face the road, while the upper portion will point toward the building.


“It was previously a lighted sign, we’d like to obviously keep it that way,” Calverley said. “The existing structure on top, which was a cabinet sign, is basically useless. It really should have been taken down some time ago. So we want to go back with another cabinet-type sign, just with a different shape. It will be back-lit and everything will be up to code as far as LED, which is 95 percent of what we do now these days.”


The board approved the variance to allow the sign unanimously, and had praise for the design.


“I think your sign looks nice,” commission Chairman Clay Mahone said. “Beside the setback, everything else conforms (to city ordinance).”