Glass block company chooses Grand Junction for new home

company that makes custom-framed glass-block windows is moving to Grand Junction.Universal Glass Block Systems is relocating to Grand Junction from Bend, Ore., where the company operated as Pacific Accent Glass Block.

Company owner John Rosamond joined officials of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership to announce the move Tuesday.

Rosamond said the company decided to move to Grand Junction because of the city’s location.

“It’s a better centralized location for our distribution base,” he said. “It’s on the interstate, which is a big plus.”

Universal Glass Block sells products through about 1,200 upper-end building supply retailers, mostly in the western United States, according to GJEP. Last year, the company’s sales totaled more than $1.5 million, and Rosamond said Grand Junction gives the company a good location for expansion into the Midwest.

Rosamond said the company currently has 10 employees in Oregon and three in Grand Junction, and he expects about six workers to move to Grand Junction as the operation moves to Colorado. Within three years, Universal Glass Block expects to employ as many as 20 people at an average wage of at least $13 per hour, plus benefits and quarterly bonuses.

Universal Glass Block is leasing a building at 1126 S. Ninth St. but plans to build a new facility of between 12,000 and 15,000 square feet in the North Crest industrial park near Walker Field Airport within the next year or so, Rosamond said.

An incentive of $40,000 from the city of Grand Junction and a matching incentive of $40,000 from the Colorado Office of Economic Development were used to assist Universal with its relocation costs, said GJEP President Ann Driggers. A portion of the incentives have been paid to the company, and the rest is payable as the company meets its job-creation goals, Driggers said.

Glass blocks have been popular in construction since at least the 1950s. But in older buildings, glass-block windows were assembled from individual glass blocks, and the quality of the final product depended on the skill of the person who set the blocks, Rosamond said.

Universal places glass blocks in custom-size frames, which can be installed in a manner similar to regular windows. The product assures consistent quality and workmanship in glass-block windows, he said.

600450 Glass block company chooses Grand Junction for new home

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