MOUNTAIN PINE, Ark. (KTHV) - Morfe Windows, a retail and manufacturing company, is working to rebuild the community in Mountain Pine. Since one of the area’s largest mill site closed, the group said the economy has struggled.
They hope to revive the area over the next five to 10 years.
“We manufacture currently out of a 15,000 square foot facility,” said Morgan Wiles.
"There's no other space left in Hot Springs whatsoever,” Shaun Keefe added.
They’re both hometown boys who are giving back to the very roots that raised them.
“We kept coming back to this site and it just felt like home because it is home,” said Wiles.
Within three to five years, Morfe Windows hopes to fully operate on new land in Mountain Pine.
“Our families still live here and we still know everyone in the community, so we wanted to come back and put our facility here while building it into something bigger,” Wiles said.
The business currently employs about 145 people in both retail and manufacturing combined.
"As far as you can see along the mountain line, that's pretty much our boundaries all the way around,” said Prateek Gera.
They said in 2006 Weyerhaeuser's mill site shut its doors, laying off nearly 700 employees.
“What we're wanting to do is market about 100 acres of the acres we bought for small businesses like ours that want to manufacture in this community and bring it back up from what it used to be when Weyerhaeuser was here,” Keefe said.
The Pines Industrial Park will house their new 48,000 square foot facility. Wages will be between $14 to $15 per hour.
“We're going to put some shopping centers and do some multifamily developments, and also try to bring in a few convenient stores. Just anything we can do to help bring up the economy drastically,” said Gera.
They hope to create more jobs and attract a more thriving economy and are confident the personnel Morfe Windows needs to be successful is in Mountain Pine.
“There's a lot of great people here who just can't afford to make it miles into Hot Springs. They live here, they'll walk to work every day, they'll grind, they'll work their tails off. We believe in that,” Wiles said.
On Wednesday, the group will hold a press conference announcing their plans with Governor Asa Hutchinson, the mayor and county judge.
They already have two acres on the north end of the property under contract for a business out of Hot Springs.