Envelope 1 Gets Loan for $28M Expansion

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Structural steel is going up at the site of the $28 million Envelope 1 expansion project in Columbiana.

The company is constructing a 100,000-square-foot addition to its building at 41969 state Route 344.

“The new structure will have a beautiful office facility in front, which is going to be a great addition to the overall appearance of the company,” says Thomas Meeks, managing director of RMK Capital LLC in Lebanon, Tenn., which put together the debt structure for the expansion project.

Dun & Bradstreet estimates that Envelope 1 generates $94.65 million in annual sales.

The company has the capacity to manufacture up to 30 million custom envelopes a day. It’s part of the privately owned Pidgeon Group of companies, which began making envelopes more than a century ago, its website states.

The project will enable Envelope 1 to consolidate under one roof with an affiliated company, E1 Digital Direct, in Boardman, that prints materials such as bank and credit card statements that are inserted and mailed in Envelope 1-manufactured envelopes.

The company will retain 200 jobs and expects to add 122 positions, Meeks says.

E1DD is paying $50,000 monthly rent for its current plant on McClurg Road, according to Meeks. “It made a lot more sense for management to move that company to Envelope 1’s facility and have everything they do under one roof,” he says. “It was a justifiable expansion.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announced June 6 that the project was awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development loan guarantee of $25 million.

US Eagle Federal Credit Union, based in New Mexico, is making the USDA-backed loan to Envelope 1 for 30 years at a 6.5% rate.

The cost of the building itself is estimated at $17.5 million, while the rest of the funds will be used to purchase new equipment and relocate E1’s existing equipment, Meeks says.

“We’ve got two big high-speed printing presses that have to be relocated. We have 19 servers because of the layers of firewall to protect the data we hold,” he says.

The company is also purchasing a $3.5 million machine that can make 1,750 envelopes per minute.

Construction began during the winter and the building is slated for completion by December.

Pictured at top: C. Tucker Cope of Columbiana is the general contractor on the project. Image: Six-Four-Three Productions.