ANDERSON — Construction work has started to convert the former Carter Lumber property into the new headquarters of ALA Trucking.
Work has started on the site, 5625 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., to convert the former lumber yard into a headquarters, warehouse, truck service center and parts store.
ALA Trucking owners Alan Adams and Paul Fogle received financing for the $1.275 million project from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s loan program through First Merchants Bank and the Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corp.
The Small Business Administration loan has two benefits for the company, Fogle said.
“From an economic standpoint the loan program helps us with having a competitive interest rate and a lower up-front capital requirement than conventional financing,” Fogle said in a press release. “This allows us to fulfill our business space needs sooner and expand our business quicker than other financing methods.”
The Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corp. has funded $500 million to more than 1,200 companies since 1983, the press release stated.
“Small Business Administration loans work because borrowing companies can put as little as 10 percent down and receive a low, fixed interest rate for 20 years,” said Jean Wojtowicz, executive director of the state agency.
Earlier this year, the city of Anderson approved a six-year tax abatement for ALA Trucking.
The lumber yard closed in 2015. ALA Trucking was founded in 1988.
Adams said the company currently employs 33 over-the-road truck drivers and six office staff. He said the company wants to hire an additional 20 drivers this year with an annual salary of $1.1 million.
“We want to get a lot more people back to work,” Adams said at the time the tax abatement was approved.
ALA Trucking owns vacant property south of the site and plans to construct a 300,000-square-foot warehouse within the next three years, he said.
The company will save $117,975 in taxes over the next six years with the abatement.
ALA Trucking intends to demolish two buildings that were used to store lumber and eventually have parking for 80 trailers. The remaining buildings will be remodeled for use as an office, maintenance, warehouse and retail sales.
When the Anderson Board of Zoning Appeals approved a special exception for the site, a requirement was that ALA Trucking would construct sidewalks along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the future.
ALA Trucking has also pledged to donate 1 percent of its profits to the Anderson Trustee Youth Center started by Anderson Township Trustee John Bostic.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.