GEORGETOWN — A cabin manufacturer is looking to sign a lease with Sussex County, with aims to rise to meet the boom of RV parks and campgrounds in southern Delaware.
Great Outdoor Cottages LLC plans on opening an office and manufacturing plant in the Delaware Coastal Business Park off Delaware Route 9, fabricating parts for cottages for campgrounds on the East Coast. The company plans to lease out 7 acres of land for 30 years to build a 45,000-square-foot warehouse, according to an agreement approved by the Sussex County Council on Tuesday.
“We felt Georgetown was a good, central location from the Carolinas and New England and it was a great deal for the land,” Great Outdoor Cottages Chief Financial Officer John Longino said. “We didn’t want to be landlocked, so we have the capability to expand our footprint as we grow as well.”
Construction is expected to be complete at the site by October 2021, and once production starts Great Outdoor Cottages expects to hire 50 employees. That total could grow to 150 employees in the next two years, according to Sussex County Economic Development Director Bill Pfaff.
“This is one I’m most excited about, and it’s one we’ve been working on for about six months,” Pfaff told the county council on April 13.
Founded in November 2020, Great Outdoor Cottages is a relatively new venture but expects to tap into the growing market of camping and RV parks. In central and southern Delaware, the tourist attractions are booming in part because of the youth sports tourism.
Specific to Sussex County, hotels and businesses along U.S. Route 113 on the eastern side of Georgetown have cropped up because of the beaches but also because of Sports at the Beach, a 100-acre complex that has been open for 17 years. Campgrounds are an appealing choice for large groups that arrive for a tournament because they can be less expensive for one site.
The market may boom once more, as the $6.5 million Sandhill Fields, a 90-acre complex with eight fields, opened last September.
Great Outdoor Cottages marks the fourth tenant of the Delaware Coastal Business Park, the county-owned industrial site. Existing tenants include injection-molded plastics manufacturer Atlantis, flooring supply company Creative Floors South Inc., and international lighting company JAYKAL LED Solutions.
Builder Supply of Delmarva (BSD), one of the largest suppliers of building materials in eastern Sussex County, is also looking to expand its operations in the Delaware Coastal Business Park with a new building. The company already has space out of the adjacent Sussex County Industrial Park, but it is in talks with the county about building a new warehouse and leasing it out until 2034, with the option to renew afterward. BSD will use the new warehouse for distribution and has currently hired 15 employees, according to Pfaff.
“They’re one of the top window suppliers in the state, and they offer a full-service product,” Pfaff told the Delaware Business Times. “This is all driven by growth.”
PATS Aircraft, the parent company of ALOFT AeroArchitects, also extended its lease for two hangars in the business park for five years with the option of two five-year renewals.
Both BSD and PATS Aircraft leases are subject to consumer price index rent adjustment at the time of renewal.