Forest River plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Butler, Indiana. The city of Butler approved Forest River’s construction plans on Monday evening, according to Brent Stevens, general manager of the XLR Toy Hauler Division of Forest River, and the RV manufacturer is currently in the bidding process with construction companies.
Construction plans include adding a 180 by 80-foot extension onto the existing facility and building an additional 63,000-square-foot warehouse on the lot. The two-stage expansion will allow the XLR line of RVs to spread production between the two facilities. According to Stevens, there are also plans to open a service facility. Currently, dealers order XLR replacement parts from Forest River’s Goshen service department, but the new service facility will allow the XLR division to ship replacement parts directly to dealer customers.
The Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly reported that the extension to the existing building should be completed by the end of the year. Stevens added that the new building will hopefully be finished by mid-summer 2021, if not sooner.
Even though there is demand for increased manufacturing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the timing of the expansion is unrelated. Forest River purchased the 20-acre property more than two and a half years ago with the intention of building and expanding the manufacturing facilities on the lot, according to Stevens.
In addition to the lot size, Stevens said the labor force also factored into Forest River’s decision to locate in Butler.
“For us in particular, the whole purpose and reason to look at the Butler area was accessibility to work force,” Stevens said.