Leaders break ground at Westin site

MIDWAY — With most of his company’s business coming from the East Coast, Westin Group LLC CEO Neil Jiang was looking for the right spot for a distribution center.

He found it on Coffer Court in the Liberty County Development Authority’s Tradeport East.

The company broke ground Friday on its 250,000-square-foot facility for Westin Furniture, and the company projects to have 80 employees once the distribution center is completed.

“Our facilities were on the West Coast, so this is very good to us to reach customers so we can provide quick service to them,” Jiang said. “We are excited.”

“We’re always glad to make an announcement of jobs and opportunities coming to our area,” said LCDA Chairman and state Rep. Al Williams.

About 85% of the company’s business is on the East Coast, and about 90% of its sales are in e-commerce. Westin Furniture also has merchandise in retailers such as Macy’s, Belk, Home Depot,

Ashley Furniture and Walmart.

Most of its products are outdoor furniture, but Westin also has lines of home furnishings, such as dining room sets. Westin has been in business for about 20 years, and its business was outgrowing its facilities on the West Coast, Jiang said.

Williams credited LCDA chief operating officer Carmen Cole and retiring CEO Ron Tolley for bringing Westin to Liberty County.

“This is Ron’s parting gift to us,” Williams said.

The company’s initial investment in the facility is pegged at $25.65 million. Westin is the fourth company to begin construction on a new facility in Tradeport East in the last year, following Palatize, Seohan Auto Georgia and Creative Home Ideas. Town & Country Living went into a spec building that already had been constructed.

If the company’s business continues to expand, the distribution center and employment rolls will too — up to 500,000 square feet and possibly 180 employees.

“We look forward to it and we are excited about the opportunities and we look forward to hearing these tractors crank up a whole lot more in the coming years,” Williams added.

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