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Window shutter maker coming to Gainesville, will employ 200 workers

American Home Products plans move after development authority OKs bonds for funding

POSTED: September 25, 2015 9:00 p.m.
SHANNON CASAS/The Times

American Home Products President Jim Tortorelli looks out of the lobby at the 300,000-square-foot building on Palmour Drive in Gainesville that he's renovating.

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The president of a national window shutters holding company is consolidating operations and coming to Gainesville as part of a move that could bring 200 jobs to the area — including about 80 new positions.

Once renovations are complete at the new location on Palmour Drive in Gainesville, American Home Products President Jim Tortorelli said he’ll close a current manufacturing facility, The Louver Shop in Dahlonega, and move part of his Los Angeles manufacturing, Danmer Custom Window Coverings, here as well.

“Gainesville is a great, friendly city for manufacturers,” Tortorelli said. “There are great tax incentives, and the people here are very welcoming.”

He said that members of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce as well as the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority also have been welcoming.

Tim Evans, vice president of economic development with the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce, said it’s a win-win for all involved.

“We’re getting a new headquarters and a new manufacturing facility here,” Evans said, adding that the building in Gainesville Industrial Park South had been vacant for nearly five years.

During a special meeting Friday morning, the development authority voted to approve a $4.3 million bond resolution for American Home Products’ acquisition and renovation of the building.

Evans said the development authority’s role was as an “entity that can issue bonds ... the development authority helps to facilitate the financing, but there’s no obligation to the community, the taxpayers or the county. The development authority’s role is to help facilitate. It is a conduit for the financing transaction of the building.”

The 300,000 square-foot facility gives American Home Products plenty of space, Tortorelli said.

“The plant in Dahlonega was 70,000 square feet, so now we’ve got more than four times what we had,” Tortorelli said, adding that he plans to lease out parts of the building to other tenants as well.

Tortorelli said he stands behind the company’s products.

“I like to motivate my employees,” he said. “I talk to them about how meaningful our work is. It’s important. We manufacture a tangible product. We don’t sit at a computer and trade stocks every day. We make something that goes into someone’s home. We brighten up homes.”

Job seekers can bring or send applications to the Gainesville Career Center of the Georgia Department of Labor at 2756 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville, GA 30504.



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