Conover-based furniture factory buys old Drexel Heritage plant | Local News

A Conover-based furniture company has purchased an old Drexel Heritage factory in Morganton.

Andy Bray, president of Vanguard Furniture, announced in a Tuesday news release that the company has purchased what was known as Drexel Plant No. 60, a 163,000-square-foot factory that will be restored, refurbished and equipped with state-of-the-art-equipment.

“This plant has a rich history and an ideal footprint for making custom furniture,” Bray said. “The building is on one level, has high ceilings and will allow Vanguard to efficiently warehouse materials and ship finished furniture.”

Bray said in the release the expansion to the old Drexel Heritage plant has the potential to add as many as 150 jobs, with the facility making casegoods and upholstery. He said the plant will need a little bit of everything, from sewers to finishers.

“We specialize in custom furniture,” Bray said. “We want to fully control the materials and the quality. Our furniture is bench-made one at a time by hand, which requires artisans not factory workers. But equally importantly, manufacturing closer to our customers reduces transportation costs and delivery times.”

Alan Wood, president and CEO of Burke Development Inc., said the organization is working with Vanguard to find and secure grant funding to assist with the expansion. Any projects Burke Development helps with must pay at or above the county’s average wage, which Wood estimated was around $39,500.

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