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Things looking up for Middletown elevator company

Josh Anderson talks about his unique elevator interior design company called FabACab during Thursday morning’s New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation board meeting.

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Manhattan has an estimated 70,000 elevators. Middletown has an elevator interior design business. Thursday morning, members of the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors saw first-hand another inspiring example of a local resident coming back home to make it big.

Josh Anderson, a 2006 graduate of Shenandoah High School, introduced his rapidly growing business called “FabACab” to EDC board members and said in true elevator talk that things were definitely looking up.

“This is another example of someone raised here who chose to come back home to invest and grow his business,” EDC President and CEO Corey Murphy said. 

The business is located in the old car loft bays next to the former Sam Pierce Chevrolet building in Middletown.

Anderson’s dad, Mike, started a company called MetalArt Inc. in 1994 that does custom metal fabrication. One of that company’s big projects was the Indianapolis airport.

“All the railings, all the stainless steel aspects of that were created right here in Henry County,” Anderson said. “Through those 25 years, MetalArt Inc. had served the elevator industry with materials for the stainless surround, door jams and the doors. Anything metal inside is manufactured by MetalArt here in Henry County.”

A sales rep for that company had shared comments from his customers that products were needed for the inside of the elevators as well. Anderson said after he and that sales rep were laid off from MetalArt, they spent the next six months outlining a new business plan that officially became a business in January of 2015.

Today, FabACab employs 12 people, seven from Henry County. It has an online platform that gives customers an opportunity to design what they want in an elevator interior right on the computer screen – from the look of the ceiling to the handrails, wallpaper and lighting.

One question posed to Anderson was why local wood product businesses aren’t involved in supplying elevator companies that FabACab works with now.

“We’re trying to work with local vendors on that but there is a really strict fire rating inside of an elevator,” Anderson explained. He added that it is the company’s hope some of the local wood firms might someday be able to develop products that can meet the strict standards.