PALMYRA, Mo. -- It didn't take long for Palmyra to find the first tenant for its new Warren Head Business Park along the city's eastern edge.
City officials recently announced plans to sell 10 of the park's 80 acres to Rack Builders Inc., headquartered in Quincy, Ill.
Mayor Loren Graham said RBI officials indicated they plan to build an 80,000-square-foot facility that will enable the company to expand its operations and hire 35 employees.
Rack Builders, which makes industrial pallet racks, already operates a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Quincy that's been expanded twice over the past five years, according to the company's website.
Graham said Palmyra officials had been talking with the company since August about locations where the company could build a facility. This is one reason the Palmyra City Council pushed ahead earlier this year with a proposal to buy 80 acres of farmland for $812,000 from the family of the late Warren Head, who died in 2009.
The land -- just east of the Marion County Highway Department -- is now becoming the Warren Head Business Park. The site is near Palmyra's existing business park on the east side of U.S. 61/U.S. 24, where all lots have already been sold.
Graham said the city has been approached in recent years by other businesses looking for available building sites in the Palmyra area, but the city had nothing to offer -- until the Warren Head Business Park fell into place.
Graham said he's excited to see RBI become the first tenant of the new business park.
"It will mean more jobs. And who knows? Maybe we'll have some more people move to town, and they'll build a home, which will improve our tax base," he said.
"But with RBI coming here, it's also kind of a catalyst for future development in that area. There are some other companies that may be interested in locating around here. And now that we have something to offer as far as land goes, I think we'll see some development pretty quickly."
Graham said RBI officials indicated "they plan to break ground pretty quickly as far as getting their site prepared." He said the city will need to take action soon to install a new road into the business park, along with water and sewer lines.
He said RBI's new plant might be ready for occupancy by August or soon after.
Graham said the company agreed to pay the city $10,000 an acre for the 10 acres inside the business park. That's equivalent to what the city paid for the land.
"I'm sure that the other acres that we'll sell won't be that cheap," he said. "This was intended to get them in" quickly and get the park started.