Allen Industries Expands Facility in Clearwater
May 14, 2014
Clearwater, Florida — Allen Industries, a fast-growing designer and manufacturer of signage and architectural elements for retailers and chain restaurants, will celebrate its business expansion in Clearwater with an open house for invited guests on June 19.
The Clearwater plant, under the leadership of David Allen, vice president of Allen Industries, recently added 4,500 square feet of office space, renovated existing office space and the manufacturing area, and added several pieces of updated equipment. The facility, located at 11351 49th Street North, totals about 60,000 square feet and employs 60 people. The company is now planning to hire another 20 employees for its second shift, Allen said.
Allen Industries serves customers across the U.S. and internationally. The Clearwater plant, which the company purchased in 1992 from the Peninsular Sign Company, serves customers in the U.S., the Caribbean and South America. The facility has been remodeled and expanded several times, but last year the company determined that the pizza restaurant-style office building needed to be torn down and replaced with more modern, functional office space, Allen said. The new building, plus renovations to the manufacturing facility that included adding new spray-paint booths and equipment, has already made the company more efficient, he said.
Founded in 1931, Allen Industries is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C. David and brothers Tom and John, who serve as Allen Industries’ president and executive vice president, respectively, are the third generation of the Allen family to operate the business.
Allen Industries experienced significant growth in the 1960s, when it partnered with Wilbur Hardee to provide signage for the first Hardee’s restaurant. Decades later, the company continues to serve 3,000 Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants nationwide. Another long-time client is Family Dollar, a partnership that has lasted 33 years. Other clients include the Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse (both owned by Darden, a full-service restaurant company based in Orlando); Burger King, (headquartered in Miami); Dunkin’ Donuts; Dairy Queen; Panda and Lowe’s Home Improvement. The Clearwater facility division has also benefited from the rapid growth of the Sol Group, which operates service stations in 23 countries in the Caribbean and South America.
Allen Industries also expanded its facility in Phoenix, Arizona, last year. The three major hubs allow the company to efficiently produce the signage, awnings and other architectural elements for companies that may have hundreds, or even thousands, of locations across the U.S.
“In recent years, it has become common for companies to ‘re-image’ themselves every 8 to 12 years, and it may take several years to change the signage in all of their locations,” David Allen said. “Some companies rely on us to design their new look as well as manufacture their components. Others come to us with designs, but need help executing them with the right specialty lighting, awnings or other architectural details. Ultimately our goal is to help them stand out, to be different from their competitors. We offer service and expertise that competitors can’t easily replicate.”
The life of a typical sign begins with a collection of raw materials such as aluminum, steel and plastic. Allen’s designers, who are some of the best in the industry, produce the designs that, once approved by the client, are built by fabricators, then painted, decorated and illuminated. A signage package for a restaurant or retailer can range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on whether the business needs awnings, fascia and even high-rise signs that can be seen from a highway.