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Commercial Real Estate Insider Only Kent County Manufacturing & Distribution News

Shore Industries to move back to Maryland

Katie Tabeling
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The entrance sign to the near capacity Kent County Aero Park | PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

DOVER – Shore Industries, a shade sail and vinyl porch enclosure manufacturer, will be leaving Dover and relocating back to the Eastern Shore this spring.

Last year, the company signed a one-year lease for a 10,000-square-foot building in the Dover Aero Park off Route 1, but it has declined to purchase the building with the lease set to expire. Instead, Shore Industries has bought space in Preston, Md., for $550,000, which includes 11 acres of land and a 16,000-square-foot building, according to company owner Mike Pugh.

“We love the [Dover] location, but we’ve had to make some hard decisions and it doesn’t quite fit our needs,” Pugh told the Delaware Business Times. “The gentleman we were working with before we signed the lease in Dover came back and offered us a new deal.”

Shore Industries had extended its lease by one month, but will move to Caroline County, Md., by April. Right now, the company is renovating an existing building on the land, as Pugh said it was “virtually untouched” for about 50 years.

The warehouse that Shore Industries is leasing right now sits on 3 acres. Pugh noted that the price of the property in Preston is “too good to pass up” compared to the warehouse on Starlifter Avenue.

“It’s unfortunate that Shore Industries is moving out of Dover, but we understand the choices to make from a business sense in owning a building,” Kent Economic Partnership Executive Director Linda Parkwoski told DBT. “We wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Shore Industries owner MIke Pugh left, gives Kent County Commissioner Allan Angel, Kent Economic Partnership Executive Director Linda Parkowski, and Sen. Trey Paradee a tour of the new facility in the Dover Aero Park in 2021.| PHOTO COURTESY KENT COUNTY LEVY COURT.

Founded in 2009, Shore Industries first started as a custom marine canvas venture, manufacturing boat covers and curtains. The company then grew to shade sails, or an awning that uses a flexible frame, for marine, commercial and residential use.

The company is now the largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) provider for shade systems and has an exclusive contract for Makefast, a marine product company based in Wales, U.K.

Shore Industries later launched another company, Porch Enclosure Systems, to sell custom vinyl porch enclosures for homes and businesses from coast to coast. Major clients include Clemson University, Facebook, Texas Roadhouse and more.

Pugh told DBT last year that while he was hoping to remain on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Kent Economic Partnership offered him an attractive location and deal. At that time, he was hoping to stay in Caroline County, where the business first started.

But since most of Shore Industries’ business is focused in Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C., the time to transport shade sails has doubled to two hours.

“It’s about ease of access. We’re also not a traditional manufacturing company, and we have specific needs for our product like a climate-controlled setting,” Pugh said. “We need more of an office setting than a warehouse. Everything is about the dollar, and while there’s advantages and disadvantages in Preston, there’s advantages and disadvantages for us in Dover.”

As for the Dover Aeropark, which is 13 acres, it is still anchored by FSA Logistix, Delaware Printing and Mid-Atlantic Packaging. A 34,000-square-foot warehouse across the street from Shore Industries has been listed on the market, noting that the landlord is willing to demolish and rebuild the property for the right tenant.

Parkowski is confident that the vacancy left open by Shore Industries’ departure in more than a month can easily be filled.

“Don’t worry, we have some things in the works,” she said.

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