Kelly-Moore Paints Its Future in North Texas With HQ Relocation From California

Kelly-Moore Paints' announcement of its HQ relocation to Irving is the latest step in the company's growth in the North Texas region, following the move of its state-of-the-art manufacturing operations to Hurst in 2017. CEO Charles Gassenheimer told Dallas Innovates his company has big plans for its future in North Texas.

North Texas chalked up another corporate headquarters move from California yesterday when Kelly-Moore Paints—a leading manufacturer and retailer of premium paints and coatings in the U.S.—announced that it will move its HQ from Northern California to Irving this year.

Kelly-Moore CEO Charles Gassenheimer

“We’re excited to join the Irving-Las Colinas community and to offer our employees a great quality of life in a vibrant city,” Kelly-Moore CEO Charles Gassenheimer said in a news release. 

Gassenheimer told Dallas Innovates that Kelly-Moore is moving 30 employees from California and from its manufacturing facility in the DFW suburb of Hurst to support the Irving HQ’s operations. “We plan to grow the workforce in Las Colinas by an additional 40 people over the next two years,” he added. 

The HQ move, and Kelly-Moore’s expanded focus, could lead to more activity at the plant in Hurst, the CEO says.

“We’re expanding beyond the contractor channel, where we’ve always been strong, to focus on bringing our high quality products to other channels, like interior design and architecture,” Gassenheimer said. “Through growing our footprint, we’ll be able to increase the total gallons produced each year and therefore more fully utilize our Hurst manufacturing plant.”

In our Q&A below, Gassenheimer talks about how his company has evolved in recent years, how it’s reducing its environmental footprint, incorporating innovation into its product development, and more.

Moved its manufacturing operations to Hurst in 2017

The headquarters relocation comes after the company moved its state-of-the-art manufacturing operations to Hurst in 2017. That facility produces technologically advanced paint products with an eye on conservation. Kelly-Moore was recognized in 2022 for reduction of wastewater pollution with the Governor’s Texas Environmental Excellence Award for Pollution Prevention, presented by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“The Hurst Manufacturing facility is the engine of our company,” Gassenheimer said in the statement. “Locating our corporate headquarters nearby enables even better production and innovation. The combination of our 157 retail stores in Northern California and the Southwest, aligned with excellence in manufacturing and distribution out of this centralized Texas base, is a formula for Kelly-Moore’s ongoing national success.”

In his comments, the CEO suggested that his company already feels at home in North Texas.

“Since centralizing our multiple manufacturing facilities in Hurst, Kelly-Moore has enjoyed all that the North Texas community offers, and we look forward to increasing our engagement with the local community,” Gassenheimer added. “I want to express my gratitude to the City of Irving, to Koa Partners, and to the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber for their support of our future in Irving-Las Colinas.”

Details on the move, including local incentives

The move was supported Thursday night as the Irving City Council voted to approve $75,000 in economic incentives for the new headquarters that will occupy 15,000 square feet of Class A office space at 500 E. John Carpenter Freeway.

The Kelly-Moore office space will be leased from the building’s owner, commercial real estate firm Koa Partners.

KOA Partners CEO Harry Lake

“We could not be happier about welcoming Kelly-Moore Paints to our building as we serve them alongside other growing companies like Neighborly and U.S. Oral Surgery Management,” Koa Partners CEO Harry Lake said in a statement.

Lake told Dallas Innovates that Kelly-Moore’s new HQ home in Las Colinas “benefits from significant investments in the amenities that our tenants have asked for, and we have provided, to make our building a truly high-performing building that supports their productivity at a tremendous value.” He emphasized “the overall quality of life” in the region, which results in “a highly talented pool of people to engage with as these world class organizations grow their business and reinforce their respective culture for the long term.”

“In addition to proving high-performing space at a great value, we have to provide them with additional support like anyone would when welcoming a neighbor to the community,” Lake added, including “places to live, eat, entertain, play, shop, exercise, educate, heal…all these things have always mattered, but now they’re highlighted as companies compete for the very best talent.  Our job at Koa is to provide real estate solutions for them to compete effectively and efficiently.”

Irving’s mayor welcomes Kelly-Moore’s move

Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer added his own welcome.

“On behalf of the Irving City Council and our entire community, we’re proud to welcome the Kelly-Moore team to Irving-Las Colinas, and we appreciate their investment in our city,” Stopfer said in the announcement. “We look forward to the economic growth opportunities that Kelly-Moore will bring to our community.”

Mayor Stopfer told Dallas Innovates that the city is actively seeking to attract corporate headquarters that can take advantage of their pro-business policies, strong public-private partnerships, and excellent quality of life for employees.

“As the Headquarters of Headquarters, we are always focused on targeting corporate headquarters,” he said. The mayor said Kelly-Moore’s move is a nod to the city’s “diverse economy, talented workforce, and excellent quality of life continue to benefit our community and the region.”

The city works closely with its partners at the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber to target specific industries such as finance, healthcare, life science, professional services, and industrial technology. This focus is reflected in their recent successes in attracting “headquarter wins” such as Caterpillar and CHRISTUS, he says.

“We continue to look to attract corporate headquarters who can benefit from our pro-business policies, strong partnerships between the public and private sectors and our outstanding quality of life for employees,” he said.

“Kelly-Moore’s decision to move its corporate headquarters to Irving-Las Colinas is a testament to our business-friendly community that also offers a high-quality lifestyle for all of its team members,” Beth A. Bowman, president & CEO of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber and Irving Economic Development Partnership, said in a statement.

The Irving Economic Development Partnership has played a crucial role in supporting Kelly-Moore Paints throughout its relocation process, according to Bowman. The partnership works with businesses to navigate regulatory and incentive structures available from the City of Irving, the county, the state, and other local authorities to ensure a seamless transition.

Our job is to remove the red tape, roll out the red carpet and make sure companies and their teams feel welcome and at home in our community as seamlessly as possible,” Bowman told us.

Supporting manufacturing and distribution

Bowman says the city of Irving is committed to supporting the manufacturing and distribution industry through ongoing initiatives and programs. 

“We enjoy a close working relationship with Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, Dallas College North Lake Campus, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and Oncor,” says Bowman. “These partnerships provide valuable resources for businesses looking to expand or relocate to the area.”

Manufacturers and distributors like Kelly-Moore can also benefit from Irving’s fast business permitting process, which typically takes only eight-to-ten days, she said. Additionally, the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber and the Irving Economic Development Partnership work closely with officials at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to provide clarity on permitting issues that may affect manufacturers.

One of the nation’s largest independent paint companies

Kelly-Moore Paints was founded in 1946 and is one of the nation’s largest independent paint companies, with over $340 million in annual revenues and over 1,200 employees.

The company sells 90% of its products to professional paint contractors and other trade professionals. Kelly-Moore said their end customers include residential homeowners, property developers, homeowners’ associations, and other large organizations.

In October 2022, Kelly-Moore Paints was acquired by an affiliate of Flacks Group, a global investment firm based in the United States.

Q&A with Kelly-Moore CEO Charles Gassenheimer

Does Kelly-Moore Paints plan to expand its retail store presence in DFW, and if so, what is the projected timeline for this expansion?
We’re investing in a store refresh program in our 157 store footprint across Texas, Oklahoma, California and Nevada, we are also making huge investments in our independent dealer channel. In each case, we are creating Kelly-Moore 2.0 to better serve our customers delivering high quality paint with excellent service.

What types of community engagement and philanthropic initiatives does Kelly-Moore Paints plan to undertake in DFW?
We have several community development programs. We recently launched a direct ground game initiative that allows each store manager to chose a local project and support that through either cash or paint donations. We also have several charities that we support. We’re always open to new ideas in this area.

How does Kelly-Moore Paints incorporate innovation into its product development and manufacturing processes? And what new products or technologies can we expect to see from the company in the future?
We have one of the finest innovation groups in the industry.  For a mid-sized paint company to be able to have these types of resources allows us to “punch above our weight class.” You can continue to see further expansion of our product portfolio and more focus on ecological ways to improve our carbon footprint. For example, we’ve made the decision to switch to plastic cans to deliver our products to market. This represents a significant cost savings, but also our can manufacturer uses 90% recycled plastics to make these paint cans. We view this as a double win!

Can you share more about Kelly-Moore Paints’ award-winning wastewater reduction efforts at its Hurst manufacturing facility, and how the company plans to continue prioritizing environmental sustainability in its operations going forward?
See answer above. We are keenly focused on ways to continue to reduce our environmental footprint while delivering the same quality and service that our customers have come to expect from Kelly-Moore.

How has the paint industry evolved in recent years, and how does the new Irving office position Kelly-Moore Paints to capitalize on these changes and continue to innovate within the industry?
Innovation is key to the paint industry. We continue to spend a significant amount of time focused on ways to deliver value and quality to our customers. Putting our corporate HQ nearer to our Hurst manufacturing operations allows for better collaboration with the Innovation and manufacturing teams, thus allowing for a more nimble and faster decision-making process.

This story was updated with additional comments from Beth Bowman and Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer on April 24, 2023, at 8:30 p.m.

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