J.P. Hart Lumber announced plans to expand the Texas-based lumber business to Sherman in the early part of 2018. As an incentive for the company, Sherman Economic Development Corporation offered the company more than $400,000 to be paid out as the company built its Sherman base.
SEDCO made good on that incentive agreement Tuesday with a check for $227,000. It was the second payout received by J.P. Hart Lumber related to the agreement.
“We really appreciate the support of the city of Sherman as well as SEDCO and everybody who has been involved in the construction and development process we’ve had here,” said Duane Sanders, J.P. Hart division president for North Texas.
The original overall incentive value of $470,000 was based on the $6.5 million that J.P. Hart Lumber was expected to be investing in this plant in 2016.
The agreement was later expanded to reflect the expanding scope of the project, which was then estimated to represent an $8 million investment in the sight. Prior for Tuesday, SEDCO paid J.P. Hart about $453,000 in incentives related to this investment, bringing SEDCO’s total contribution to about $680,000.
Unlike the previous payment, Tuesday’s incentive was aimed at encouraging employment growth at the lumber producer. Since starting production, the plant has grown from a staff of about five to 38, with one employee starting Monday and another expected to start work next week, Sanders said.
The growing building market, especially the housing market, has led to booming business for construction materials. While the Sherman location ships materials within a 75-mile radius, the boom in material demand can be felt at locations across the state, officials with J.P. Hart said.
It is this regional impact that made J.P. Hart a prime candidate for support, SEDCO President Kent Sharp said.
“J.P. Hart qualifies because they sell the majority of their product outside of Grayson County, which brings money back into the county,” he said.
Sanders said the lumber plant still has growth ahead of it, but would not commit to a specific time frame. The plant sits on a 35-acre lot, but only uses about 15 acres, leaving more than half the area for future development and expansion.
“We are where we need to be today,” he said. “We need to continue to develop what we have today, but there are plans for future growth, but that has yet to be determined.”