(Courtesy graphic/Stoney Brook Development LLC)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Feighner Boat Lift & Docks of Charlotte, a family-owned business focused on producing high-quality docks and boat lifts, many of which are featured in the Charlotte location, has recently purchased 20 acres on Lansing Road near Shaftsburg. The location is between the Laingsburg and Perry exits and offers easy visibility. The current plan involves constructing a facility that will be 80-by-50 foot, with the initial focus being on retail, though there is plenty of room for expansion in the future. Currently, the Charlotte business has approximately 20 employees. New employees will be hired to work at the Lansing Road location, as they are needed.
The Feighner family lives primarily in the Haslett area. Gabrielle Feighner Baker, the chief marketing operator, lives in Woodhull Township, along with her family. The story she shared involved taking a family trip to seek out an ice cream store. They discovered King Kone in Perry and on the drive there, Gabrielle saw the location and a for-sale sign, and immediately recognizing the potential, she took a photo and called on the property the next day. Graham Church on Beard Road owned the property at that time.
An upcoming meeting on zoning will be Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Woodhull Township Hall on Beard Road. There have been two previous meetings – with some discussion over possible semi traffic and potential noise issues if the new property is eventually used for dock/boat lift construction. Baker stated that the business is generally very quite – that the elements involved in the construction of the docks and boat lifts is not overly loud. The Feighners do make their products on-site in Charlotte, so there is some aluminum cutting, bolting and welding in the process. After a client decides on a dock or boat lift and it is constructed, the products are often delivered via heavy-duty Chevy Silverado trucks, allowing the Feigners to deliver anywhere in Michigan, as well as servicing the local area.
Baker also shared that the company takes pride in keeping their business extremely “neat and tidy.” They are also environmentally friendly, utilizing aluminum and plastic with all extra material being recycled. No chemicals are used other than a minor amount of coolant that is also recycled. Material safety data sheets are used with every project.
SEDP President/CEO Justin Horvath has been working with the Feighner family through this process. He said he is eager to continue “helping them navigate through the process. It is still pretty early, but the next step is to get all of the necessary governmental approvals such as zoning.” Eventually Horvath will help them “access talent” in hiring the right employees for the right positions, etc. As always, SEDP is effective as a resource tool by introducing new economic and manufacturing companies into the region and helping educate them along the way.
More on Feighner Boat Lift & Docks is available at www.1800boatlift.com.