A company that manufactures tow bars for the U.S. Military has signed a contract to buy the 90,000-square-foot former QRM building on Homer Street, which it will use for warehousing, distribution and possibly manufacturing.
Jim Davis, owner of the AMD Installation Center on South Broad Street, a member of the Commerce Downtown Development Authority and operations manager for the new facility, made the announcement at the DDA’s meeting last Wednesday, March 26.
Defense Products and Services Group, an eight-year-old company owned by a longtime friend of Davis, recently signed a contract to provide an “articulating tow bar” to be attached to military vehicles.
“Derelict vehicles have become an ambush point,” Davis remarked. The device, which Davis helped design, would enable a vehicle to hook up and relocate a disabled vehicle in less than a minute.
City manager Pete Pyrzenski pointed out that the company will be able to take advantage of the fact that the site is in both “enterprise” and “opportunity” zones, the former of which allows the city to discount utility tap and permit fees and the latter of which will give the company a $3,500 tax credit for each new job created. Davis estimated that the company will initially hire at least 20 people.
The company is currently building some parts in Canada but is doing the bulk of the manufacturing at a site in Fredericksburg, VA. Davis speculated that the company might eventually do some manufacturing at the Commerce site.
The company is also marketing the tow bar internationally.
“It could have huge implications for law enforcement,” Davis said. He raised the possibility that police or State Patrol officers, when working wrecks, could use the Wunderbar to move vehicles off the road “instead of waiting 40 minutes for a tow truck,” to open roads more quickly.
For the full story, see the April 2 edition of The Commerce News.