MARSHALLTOWN expands, grows

When MARSHALLTOWN hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a 60,000-square-foot addition of manufacturing space in May, it was the company’s first groundbreaking ceremony in their 131 year history.

However, MARSHALLTOWN has broken a lot more ground than just their most recent expansion.

“I think we’ve always been a pretty quiet company down on Eighth Avenue, and I think we realized we need to be a bigger player in that community and try and help drive growth and do some bigger things,” MARSHALLTOWN President and CEO Joe Carter said.

The construction tools and equipment manufacturing company’s latest building project is their second major addition since 2018, when a 60,000-square-foot extension was made to their headquarters at 104 S. Eighth Ave. The new project will add another 60,000 square feet to its manufacturing space, bringing their total manufacturing space to 130,000 square feet.

MARSHALLTOWN started in 1902 manufacturing brick and concrete tools, growing to produce more than 7,000 different tools today. As MARSHALLTOWN has added more product lines over the years such as plate compactors, snow shovels, roof rakes, paint roller trays and paint cups, more space has been needed for production. The expansion includes five new shipping and receiving bays, more forging space, an assembly and manufacturing area for snow removal tools. Another 30 to 50 employees will also be hired to accommodate the added space.

“It’s been a tremendous growth,” MARSHALLTOWN Facilities Manager Joe Mathern said. “Before I remodeled the offices here, you went by this little brick building and nobody really knew what it was, now it really catches your eye and has to bring people to wonder what’s going on in there.”

Mathern said the current expansion is on pace to be completed in January of 2022.

“I think you’re seeing what looks to be a rapid expansion up here, because it is a rapid expansion in Marshalltown,” Carter said. “But, it’s not necessarily a rapid expansion for us as a company.”

Carter said MARSHALLTOWN has been an expanding company since the end of World War II, and has done a lot of building at their location in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which has grown to 500,000 square feet since its inception in 1981.

He said he is fortunate to have had a mostly robust economy and a brand name with 131 years of built up trust.

“While people in Marshalltown, Iowa may not recognize that we make construction tools and may not even know we’re down here on Eighth Avenue, if you talk to any brick mason or you talk to any concrete finisher or you talk to a drywaller, somebody that is in the construction trades, they immediately know our name and they immediately think of quality,” Carter said.

One reason MARSHALLTOWN is just now expanding in its hometown, is their facility was landlocked by surrounding houses and businesses. In 2015 and 2016, MARSHALLTOWN was able to buy up property north of the facility allowing for expansion all the way up to Main Street.

Carter hopes the expansion will be a piece to the puzzle driving the economy and growth in Marshalltown.

“We’ve got a great nucleus of employees in Marshalltown and felt like we could really expand here with what we’ve got,” Carter said. “We think we can go all the way from Boone Street to Main Street, and really have quite a facility here.”

Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or tbabcock@timesrepublican.com.


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