Project Wave Docks in Suwannee County
LIVE OAK (SUWANNEE COUNTY, FL) — Rhino Inc. has announced its plan to construct a new manufacturing facility in Suwannee County to expand its Wave Armor line of products.
Wave Armor produces floating docks with numerous available accessories to maximize space and make it easily accessible for water activities like boating, jet skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and swimming. The Minnesota-based company will also produce a portion of its Rhino Tuff Tanks at the 213,543 square foot facility adjacent to the Suwannee County Catalyst Site near the Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 90 interchange.
“We’re excited to be there,” Rhino owner Rick Johanneck said in announcing the expansion. “I think we’ll have some great exposure. The building’s beautiful so it’s going to look great along the highway there”. Groundbreaking for the facility is expected to happen in early May with the project completed by next spring.
The company is making a $17.125 million capital investment with the Suwannee County plant, which is expected to create 50 new jobs initially.
In addition to producing the docks and ports, the Suwannee County location will also consider producing stackable and portable fluid storage systems through its Rhino Tuff Tanks line. The expansion will also allow the company to resume custom rotational molding products for third parties.
“We knew that their project would be a great fit,” Suwannee County Economic Development Director Jimmy Norris said. “We couldn’t be happier to have Rick and his team, the Wave Armor team, locating here in Suwannee County.”
That fit came as part of a collaborative effort on the local, regional, and state levels. Johanneck initially contacted the North Florida Economic Development Partnership, which then notified local economic development groups about the company’s interest.
“I think this is a perfect example of how our regional team received the initial lead and then we kind of facilitated our local economic development professionals and at that point, it was up to them to work with us and be that shining light that Rick wants to work with,” NFEDP Executive Director Jeff Hendry said. “It’s a great fit for our region. It’s a great fit for Suwannee County.”
While Johanneck liked the potential site in Suwannee County, the county received additional assistance from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to help alleviate concerns about lack of utilities. Last year, Suwannee County received $1.9 million in state funding to extend water lines from the Catalyst Site to the Wave Armor property. A wastewater plant is being designed and funds for it as well as other infrastructure improvements are being acquired for the industrial park area. Welcome Wave Armor to Florida’s New Frontier!