Amadas Coach rolling into town

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 13, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A manufacturer of upscale motorcoaches has purchased the city-owned shell building in Suffolk Industrial Park and will be expanding its existing operation into the city.

Amadas Coach, which has built customized coaches for performers including the Dave Matthews Band and the country band, Alabama, will be moving its corporate headquarters to Suffolk.

Email newsletter signup

A sister company to the Suffolk-based Amadas Industries, the company is also opening a new division that produces high-end motorcoaches that will be sold by Featherlike Inc.

The motorcoaches that Amadas will manufacture for Featherlike will sell for $575,000 to $1.2 million.

The company’s custom conversion operation in Monet, outside Roanoke, will not be impacted.

Amadas’ arrival in Suffolk comes at a prime time for the city, which was to begin repaying the $1.4 million state grant that helped fund construction of the shell building next year. Suffolk was one of four localities that received grant-loan funding through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s shell-building program in 1999.

After three years trying to sell the building for $2.3 million, the IDA reduced the asking price by approximately $300,000 late last year. With the building sold, the IDA will repay the loan and any accrued interests payments back to the state.

Amadas Coach is expected to bring more than $2.5 million in new capital investment to the city, said Tom O’Grady, the city’s economic development director. The company’s expansion will create 10 to 12 new jobs.

John Wagner, vice president of Amadas Industries, said the coach company anticipates the business will be up and running by Aug. 1.