January 2013

Six years after expanding to Redding, Southern Aluminum Finishing has started production in its new anodizing plant, which will supply commercial builders across the West.

The facility in the Mountain Lakes Industrial Park in north Redding has 20 employees and could add up to 20 more this year, SAF Vice President Jim McClatchey said.

The Redding plant includes distribution of aluminum extrusions and sheet, and metal fabrication in addition to its anodizing line.

McClatchey said moving to Redding has helped the Atlanta-based company broaden its reach.

“While we had sold to the West for many years, it was not possible to have a significant western market presence without locating here,” McClatchey said in an e-mail. “We had been plowing the ground in the east and central parts of the
country for over 60 years. We felt like our best opportunity for growth would be in places outside our normal sales areas.”

But the move has been a journey with stops and starts.

SAF came to Redding in 2007 and set up shop in a smaller space inside its current plant. The small operation started with five employees.

The company planned to build a bigger plant off Eastside Road in south Redding, then canceled those plans and set its sights on Stillwater Business Park.

But the recession prompted SAF to drop the Stillwater-land-for-jobs deal it had signed with the city in January 2010. SAF would have received some $2.45 million in incentives in exchange for 50 jobs.

SAF then purchased the former Jhirmack hair products building, where it had been leasing 20,000 square feet of space since it came to Redding in ’07.

SAF takes up 75,000 square feet inside the facility and leases out the remaining 155,000 square feet. Tenants include Shasta County Office of Education and Geeks on Wheels.

All the work getting SAF’s new plant operational was done by local contractors.

“I could tell you stories about how each of them at some point in the design or construction process made invaluable contributions to the ultimate success of the project,” McClatchey said.

McClatchey expects 2013 to be a busy year for his company.

SAF just complete a job in Shanghai where it supplied 250,000 pounds of aluminum panels for the X3-2 office building. Much of the material shipped to China for the project would have come from Redding had SAF’s anodizing plant been operating,
McClatchey said.

McClatchey also recently made a “scouting trip” to Brazil, where the economy expects to get a boost from the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

The batch anodizing process in Redding involves racking parts and immersing them in a series of treatment tanks. The plant will make clear and anodized finishes in bronzes and black hues in lengths up to 28 feet, McClatchey said.