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Adornus Cabinetry moving into Duracell plant

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$10M investment will create 210 jobs

By Greg Summers

A high-end cabinet maker will bring its main manufacturing operation and corporate headquarters to Lancaster, moving into the former Duracell building and starting operations in the next three months.
The S.C. Commerce Department announced Thursday that privately held Adornus Cabinetry will occupy the 349,000-square-foot plant on S.C. 9 Bypass West, the county’s largest vacant factory. The company plans to invest more than $10 million and create 210 jobs here that pay more than $15 an hour.
Founded in 2007 by co-owners Jorge Mejias and William Li, Adornus now has 100 employees, so the Lancaster expansion will triple its workforce.
The company has distribution facilities in New Jersey and Florida, and a manufacturing plant in China that opened in 2013. Its “unofficial headquarters” has been Miami, said Mejias, the company’s CEO.
Mejias called Lancaster the ideal fit for the growing company. Its specialty is all-wood frameless kitchen cabinets and bathroom furniture. The Lancaster operation will manufacture kitchen cabinets.
“South Carolina provided the perfect location and business environment for our high-quality cabinetry operations,” Mejias said in a Commerce Department release. “We thank our local and state partners for their continued support, and we look forward to joining the Lancaster business community.”
The company’s arrival is especially good news at Lancaster City Hall.
When Duracell announced in July 2016 that it was ending battery production here and moving its Lancaster operation to an existing factory in LaGrange, Ga., the city of Lancaster lost its largest taxpayer and water customer. The production phase-out started in March 2017 and ended late last year.
The local tax base also suffered another blow in 2018 when Springs Memorial Hospital was sold to the nonprofit Medical University of South Carolina. At the time, the for-profit hospital was the city’s second-biggest taxpayer and the third-largest in the county. 
“The city of Lancaster is thrilled to have Adornus Cabinetry LLC join the wave of positive growth,” said Lancaster Mayor Alston DeVenny, noting that the international building manufacturer “will bring modern manufacturing techniques and processes together with old-school values of fair pay for hard work.”
Steve Harper, chairman of Lancaster County Council, said Adornus will have a tremendous economic impact on the greater Lancaster area.
Adornus will be the largest manufacturer that has come here since 2013 and the county’s seventh-largest manufacturer. The company has also expressed the desire to be involved in the local community.
“Lancaster County’s heart and soul have always been in manufacturing, and we couldn’t be more excited,” Harper said.
Adornus has distribution facilities in New Jersey and Floridam also has a manufacturing plant in China that opened in 2013.
Adornus sells its products through a network of authorized dealers, including retail showrooms, builders and kitchen-cabinet professionals.
Jamie Gilbert, the county’s economic development director, called Thursday’s announcement “another golden day in Lancaster County.”
Adornus, he said, is “an outstanding company with a world-class product” and fits into the local push to “find quality companies for the few buildings we have available.”
“Their decision to locate in Lancaster County is a reflection of the excellent workforce, business climate and support we offer businesses,” Gilbert said.
Gov. Henry McMaster called the Adornus announcement “another win” for the state, while Bobby Hitt, the state’s commerce secretary, noted that South Carolina’s manufacturing base continues to grow.
“When companies like Adornus Cabinetry LLC invest and create jobs in our state, it’s further testament that South Carolina is ‘just right’ for business,” Hitt said.
Those interested in jobs with Adornus Cabinetry can visit https://adornus.com/lancaster.
“We’re definitely excited to be part of Lancaster County,” said Mejias.

Follow reporter Greg Summers on Twitter @GregSummersTLN or contact him at (803) 283-1156.