Wildwood commissioners clear way for major expansion at Primus Pipe & Tube

Wildwood commissioners Monday night approved a site plan, comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning ordinance to clear the way for a major expansion at Primus Pipe & Tube, a pipe manufacturer located on U.S. 301 near West Clarke Street.

The company sought permission to build a 146,583-square-foot addition to its plant. It also requested changing the city’s comprehensive plan for the 50-acre site to industrial from Oxford area mixed use and general commercial.

Commissioners also voted to rezone the property to industrial from an expired planned unit development and general commercial highway.

The 93.4-acre project also includes paved parking, a driveway and other improvements.

Besides the roughly 723-foot by 253-foot building protected by chain-link fences, the plan also includes an entry gate, an asphalt parking lot with about 55 spaces and a new pond.

When the project is completed, the plant may use up to 111,000 gallons of water and generate up to 95,500 gallons of waste water per day. City officials say Wildwood has the capacity to meet those demands.

With about 100 employees and annual sales of about $39 million, Primus Pipe has been a steel pipe and tube manufacturer since 2001.

The company was sold for $25 million euros in 2017 to Ta Chen International, a pipe distributor in the United States and part of Ta Chen Stainless Pipe of Taiwan.

Last spring, the company received a letter of support from Wildwood officials for an exemption from President Trump’s tariffs on steel.

A fast-track program to speed customer deliveries during emergencies and breakdowns is advertised on its web site.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Approved a contract for the city to buy the former North Sumter Primary School on Warfield Avenue from the Sumter County School Board for $1.7 million. The city has a 90-day inspection period and the building, which includes a cafeteria, athletic pavilion and classrooms, has issues with asbestos and lead paint.
  • Approved a comprehensive plan amendment and zoning change for Preston Place, which will be a small commercial development on about 12 acres on the east side of U.S. 301 about a half mile south of County Road 466.