Matt Wilcox is bringing his business, Apollo Caster Inc. from Andrews to its new home in Huntington, purchasing a uniquely styled building that was initially built to be a dairy and going to work to rehab the structure.
Apollo Caster Inc., which has been in business 12 years, was in need of a bigger facility, Wilcox says.
“Our company has been blessed by good growth, so the space is definitely necessary,” he explains. “When we went to look for the right kind of place, we had help from the City of Huntington and we were able to find this. It just looked like a project that we would be happy to do.”
The block building, located at 1500 Etna Ave., had been initially built in 1946 by the Fulton Milk Co., then later was used by Spectrum Printing. Lately, it had mostly been used for storage, Wilcox says. But with his experience in rehabbing old buildings – he and his wife fixed up an 1880s farmhouse back in the ‘90s which they lived in for about 20 years – he was undaunted by the task of making it habitable by his business.
“This building has so much character and style. And sadly, it was getting close to the point where it was going to be kind of an eyesore and become a problem for the city,” he adds. “It’s going to look a lot different. We’re going to have new pavement, landscaping and we’ll have some greenery in front … It’s going to be a place where this side of town can drive by and say, ‘The place looks nice.’”
Apollo Caster is a distributor of small material handling goods, such as casters, wheels, ball transfers, glides and more. They sell products throughout the world, as well as all 50 states, to both commercial and residential customers, Wilcox says. The company also handles some light assembly.
Currently there are three employees, including Wilcox. However, he says the company expects to hire more in the first year or two after they move to Huntington, which is tentatively set for sometime this spring, likely in April.
The company received a grant from the City of Huntington to help get the necessary repairs made to bring the Art Deco-style building back to life. Mark Wickersham, executive director of Huntington County Economic Development, says the project falls right alongside the revitalization of the Etna Avenue corridor, which is also in the construction phase within a stone’s throw of the Apollo building.
“Matt and his family have been active in the community for a long time, and it’s been fun to work together with Matt,” Wickersham says. “As we go forward and see this area come together it’s going to be exciting.”