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Business Beat: I-20 industrial park plans move forward

By Mike Elswick
Jan. 14, 2012 at 11 p.m.

Despite a still-recovering economy, <em style="bold">Scott Zhorne</em> with <em style="bold">Premiere Management</em> said he is charging ahead with a two-building, 30,000-square-foot warehouse/industrial center on Interstate 20 and East Loop 281.

The project has one industrial tenant locked in early, he said.

Zhorne said the firm was pleased to sign a long-term lease with a strong industrial tenant expanding to the Longview area from Houston.

The tenant, <em style="bold">Forum Energy Technologies,</em> is a worldwide energy conglomerate that operates in 32 facilities in more than 16 countries and employs 3,000 people across the globe.

Sales for Forum topped $1 billion in 2011.

The company has a range of specialties, from testing and certifying frac iron and valves to offering a comprehensive field of remotely operated vehicles for energy construction on the ocean floor.

Zhorne said construction is moving along on the site, and he expects Forum to take possession in May. The company expects it will employ up to 10 people at the start. Sales for the company surpassed $1 billion in 2011.

<strong>Tires, batteries</strong>

The walls are up on Longview's new <em style="bold">National Tire and Battery</em> retail store going up at 2028 N. Eastman Road.

The 7,243-square-foot store is south of Longview Towne Center and on U.S. 259 frontage in front of the Hampton Inn.

U.S. Builders is the contractor of the pre-engineered commercial building that received a city of Longview building permit for $550,000 in construction.

National Tire & Battery was created in 1997 through the merger of two tire retailers, Tire America and National Tire Warehouse. In 2003, NTB was purchased by Florida-based Tire Kingdom.

The chain operates in 19 states and specializes in tire and battery replacement as well as many mechanical services. NTB carries a selection of nationally branded tires, including Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Uniroyal, Pirelli, Sigma and Toyo.

The store also will offer automotive services, including alignments, brakes, oil/filter changes, shocks and struts along with most preventive maintenance services.

Under the names National Tire and Battery, TireKingdom and Merchant's Tire Centers, the chain operates more than 600 retail outlets.

For information, log onto

<strong>Cajun flair</strong>

Marshall's newest restaurant due to open in early February is actually an established eatery that moved to a new location.

Cajun Tex, which has been on U.S. 59 near the city's Lowe's Home Improvement Center, is slated to relocate Fb. 1 to the intersection of Grand Avenue (U.S. 80) and Wellington Street.

The restaurant has been serving lunch and dinner, and will expand to include breakfast after the move.

Slated to be on the breakfast menu are bayou biscuits, beignets, shrimp and grits and swamp egg casserole. Breakfast hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The restaurant serves a variety of Cajun and Texas-style dishes ranging from boudin balls to rib-eye steaks. Cajun Tex is owned by <em style="bold">Johnny and Donna Horne</em> and <em>Don and Nancy Kirk</em>.

<strong>Home showcase</strong>

The East Texas Builders Association still has booth space available for itsEast Texas Home Products Show set Feb. 10 through 12 at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center.

For information, call the association's office at (903) 758-6416; or contact <em style="bold">Angela Smeltzer</em>, executive director via email at

<em>- Mike Elswick is the managing editor/business editor of the Longview News-Journal. He can be reached at (903) 237-7737 or at</em>



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