A company that manufactures equipment for oil and gas drilling is moving into one of the largest buildings in Waco.

Brazos Iron Works plans to start operating in the former Patriot mobile-home manufacturing building on West Loop 340 on Jan. 15, 2018 officials said. The company, which makes drilling equipment such as pressure vessels and heater treaters, expects to employ 25 to 30 people next year and double that going into 2019.

Brazos Iron Works President Eric Mehringer said Texas State Technical College’s welding program excites him as a source for workers. The equipment made in Waco will be used across the continental United States, he said.

“Logistically, everything in Waco makes sense,” vice president of operations Josh Lewallen said. “The labor pool is great here. We’ve worked in Fort Worth and Odessa and the Permian and everything for awhile. And I’m from Waco, so I just figured it was time to come home.”

Brazos Iron Works plans to use about 48,000 square feet of the 129,000-square-foot building.

Real estate agent Nathan Embry said the process of finding a tenant for the building was complicated because it had to be rezoned. Working through procedures with city and county leaders moved the project forward, he said.

“It sat on the market for awhile, and when you get a call on it, it’s pretty exciting because it’s a big player, generally speaking, who needs a lot of space,” Embry said.

Embry said the stretch of large buildings on West Loop 340 west of Interstate 35 is ripe for businesses.

“We’re really looking forward to expanding and growing this business in Waco and having this as the central hub for our manufacturing facility,” Lewallen said.

Phillip Ericksen joined the Tribune-Herald in March 2015 as a sports copy editor. That November, he joined the news team. He has covered higher education, city hall, politics and crime.

Recommended for you