September 13, 2018

Legend Valve undergoes $4 million expansion in Auburn Hills

Kurt Nagl

Crain’s Detroit

Plumbing parts supplier Legend Valve & Fitting Inc. is undergoing a nearly $4 million expansion at its Auburn Hills headquarters in response to rising demand from commercial and residential markets.

The company is adding 55,000 square feet to its 153,000-square-foot home base at 300 N. Opdyke Road, kitty-corner to the former site of the Pontiac Silverdome, said Walter Jann, executive vice president of the company.

Construction started in June and is expected to be complete in November.

Design and general contracting is being handled by Madison Heights-based Kemp & Co., which also oversaw construction when the company moved to the building — a former Wal-Mart — in 2011.

The addition will serve primarily as a warehouse, while the existing space continues to function as a hub for administrative and manufacturing operations, said David Hickman, president and CEO of the company. The new space will be outfitted with hydronic heated flooring — a product offered by Legend Valve and, fittingly, a key area of growth for the company.

More manufacturing equipment and a new extruder are also being added in the existing space.

Founded in 1988, Legend Valve distributes 10,000 to 11,000 different products — think valves and pipes in basements and under the sink — in more than 80 classes for residential, commercial and industrial wholesale clients. It has one other location — a warehouse in Reno, Nevada — that reaches its customers on the West Coast. In addition to distribution, the company manufactures PEX heating tubes and PE-ERT recyclable pipe.

Jann and Hickman declined to disclose revenue figures but said the company experiences “significant double-digit gains” every year.

“Here in Michigan, we distribute the products coast to coast,” Jann said. “We have the ‘Made in Michigan’ symbol on them because there’s loyalty with our customer base, and it’s a decisive factor in our marketing.”

Hickman said the company recently hired about a dozen new employees and is looking to hire more. About 90 people work in Auburn Hills, and 10 or so work in Reno.