Vacant former Pelham Walmart property to serve as company warehouse

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – An Alabaster based company will soon expand its footprint across city limits thanks to the acquisition of the former Walmart building in southern Pelham according to a press release posted by the city of Pelham in the early afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Specification Rubber recently acquired what is commonly referred to as the former Walmart building in the southern part of Pelham with the intention to use the location as a new warehouse facility. The 120,000-square-foot building sits on 16 acres just off of Highway 31.

Serving as the company’s new warehouse, the building will sit less than a half mile from Specification Rubber’s manufacturing headquarters in Alabaster. According to the city of Pelham, the warehouse will store finished goods inventory and raw materials for the company. Prior to the acquisition, the building had sat vacant and empty for roughly two years.

Specification Rubber has built its reputation as a manufacturer of molded rubber components for the waterworks industry over the course of the past five decades. The company was recognized as a Shelby County Small Business of the Year in 2023 and as one of Alabama’s safest manufacturers by Business Alabama magazine in 2019. For the past three years, the company has also been named as a Rubber News Best Place to Work.

The company is also a primary supplier for ductile iron pipe, valve and hydrant producers and offers molded items for a variety of industrial uses.

Specification Rubber has also announced that they will begin renovations on the property in short order and that they expect renovations to be completed in the next six months. Once opening the facility, the company expects to increase its workforce by roughly 10 percent, which will translate into the creation of local job opportunities.

Specification Rubber President Steven Smith said that the company has undertaken six significant expansions across the company’s history and that this latest move came as a result of the manufacturer outgrowing its existing property.

“Purchasing this property ensures our strategic goals for growth are met in the next five to ten years, and we are able to continue to meet the needs of our customers,” Smith said.

The city of Pelham expressed its excitement regarding the cooperation with the business and that Specification Rubber’s decision to come to Pelham will result in a positive relationship.

“Specification Rubber has always been just across the road and has been a good neighbor,” Pelham Mayor Gary W. Waters said. “I expect the excellent relationship we’ve had with the company to continue as they move into Pelham to expand their operations.”

Now a subsidiary of the Birmingham-based American Cast Iron Pipe Company, Specification Rubber’s new presence in the city of Pelham is expected to be a net positive for the city according to city officials.

“We are very excited to have Specification Rubber Products expanding a portion of their operation to the city of Pelham,” Pelham Economic Development Director Michael Simon said. “Specification Rubber Products’ acquisition of these 16 acres, future renovations of the 120,000 square-foot building and the jobs created mark a significant investment of time and financial resources. We appreciate them choosing Pelham and look forward to fostering a great working relationship.”