The Door Stop is finally on its way to Payson.
The cabinet door manufacturing company that first inquired about moving here two years ago held a groundbreaking Wednesday morning at the site in Sky Park Industrial Park where the company's new manufacturing facility will be built.
"It's taken a long time to go back and forth, and there were significant issues that had to be resolved," owner Jim Hill said, explaining the delay. "There are building code interpretation issues that come up so any company and the town have to reach agreement on these."
And all of that came after a year-long political struggle to acquire the land from the town. Some residents and a minority of council members opposed the deal on the grounds that the town was unfairly subsidizing The Door Stop.
With all issues now seemingly resolved, Amon Builders, a local Payson company, will begin construction of The Door Stop's new building soon.
"It will be 30,000-square feet 150-by-200 feet," Hill said. "But the back wall is expandable out to another 150 feet so we can go to 150-by-300 and we probably will within a short period of time."
The new facility will be built on a 4.5-acre site purchased from the town for $330,413.
The Door Stop is currently operating out of a 23,000-square-foot building in Chandler, but only 18,000 square feet of that is production space. Hill plans to use an existing building on its new site for office space, so all of the new building can be used for production.
"It's about an 80 percent increase in production space," Hill said.
While he declined to predict when the company would move into its new facility, Hill said the steel is already on order.
Hill said he is erecting an expandable building for several reasons.
"We're still not 100 percent positive about the Payson labor base," Hill said. "We need to find out. If people are looking for employment and looking for a place they can stay with and grow with and advance with, that's what we're after."
The Door Stop held a job fair a year ago, interviewing 157 people for about 60 jobs expected to be created when the company moves to Payson early next year.
"We had that job fair on Sept. 8, and we were euphoric," Hill said. "But a few days later, everything changed."
The events of Sept. 11 and the recession that followed also made The Door Stop move more cautiously, although Hill realizes that recession is part of the business cycle.
Former Payson Mayor Ray Schum, a leading proponent of The Door Stop's move, spoke first at the ceremony.
"This groundbreaking for the construction and future operation of The Door Stop company is the culmination of a long, sometimes arduous and even uncertain journey," Schum said.
His sentiments were echoed by Councilor Dick Wolfe, also a supporter of The Door Stop.
"This day has been a long, long, long time coming, and we are very fortunate to have Jim and Sioux Hill, who are very persistent and hung in there through a great deal of problems, most of them not of their own making," Wolfe said.
Hill presented plaques made like small cabinet doors to Schum, Wolfe and Interim Town Manager Kelly Udall. He expressed his confidence in the community and in the decision to relocate here.
"We're very happy to be coming up here," he said. "We appreciate everything that everyone has done for us, and we think it's going to work out real well."