San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

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Precision instrumentation manufacturer Mensor Corp. broke ground Wednesday on a new 45,000-square-foot facility next door to the building it has occupied since relocating to San Marcos from Houston 35 years ago.

The expansion will span 3.5 acres where its current building sits and 3.3 adjacent acres in the Thermon Industrial Park south of Wonder World Drive. Construction is expected to cost $6.3 million, Mensor Corp. President Lee Graham said.

Since being purchased by Klingenberg, Germany-based WIKA Group in April 2006, Mensor has taken over one product line previously manufactured in Germany, Graham said. With a track record of efficiency among WIKA’s 43 subsidiaries, Mensor expects further expansion.

“We’ve proven that we can produce more economically than some of these other markets, particularly European markets. There is the possibility we could pick up more products from there,” Graham said. “At the same time, we want to grow organically. We’ve been pretty innovative in the past and we expect to do that in the future.”

If the company hits its growth targets, it anticipates adding 40 employees over the next decade to the 70 already on its payroll, Graham said.

Mensor makes pressure and temperature measurement and calibration systems used in industries that include manufacturing, aviation, meteorology and research and engineering laboratories.

The company did not seek property tax abatements or other subsidies from the city except for a waiver from a code requirement that it build a sidewalk along its Interstate 35 access road frontage. Mensor’s site plan does include a sidewalk along Barnes Drive in front of its current and new building, but Graham objected to building a sidewalk in “our backyard” where it would not connect to any other sidewalks.

“We’ve been in San Marcos a long time and expect to be here for a long time. We’ve contributed a lot to the community but the [sidewalk requirement] just didn’t make sense to us,” Graham said.

At the urging of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, the city council granted the waiver on Oct. 2, saving the company $21,500 it would have otherwise had to pay City Hall.

Mensor Corp. was founded in Houston in 1969 and moved its headquarters and production facilities to San Marcos in 1978. Since its acquisition, Mensor is among WIKA’s 10 manufacturing facilities on five continents. In the United States, WIKA operates production facilities in Lawrenceville, Ga. and in Deer Park, near Houston, in addition to San Marcos.

“We had opportunities to move to other locations, but wanted to stay in San Marcos,” Graham said.

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14 thoughts on “Mensor Corp. breaks ground on new manufacturing facility

  1. This is truly great news on so many levels. Thank you Mensor employees and leaders for the great job you’re doing to bring jobs to San Marcos. Awesome!

  2. Great news! Jobs. And they didn’t ask for a tax abatement and couldn’t see the need for a sidewalk to nowhere. Let’s work for more of this type of development. Congratulations Mensor Corp.on your expansion!

  3. The sidewalk only goes nowhere until the next piece is built and then the next one and so on. That’s why the requirement is there. Each property owner adds a piece of sidewalk as each property is developed until eventually you have a sidewalk that goes somewhere. There are pedestrians along that stretch of frontage road all the time. I passed two this morning. Or remove the sidewalk requirement for everyone, unless it will connect existing sidewalks. Wait, that will never happen if no one has to build them….

  4. The sidewalk requirement is almost never waived. I’m surprised to see it waived in this case but if it made Mensor feel better about their decision I’m happy to have it waived. The city should build more sidewalks anyway, in my humble opinion.

  5. If you haven’t noticed there are sidewalks all over town being built right now, literally everyday hundreds of feet of new sidewalks

  6. I’m not sure what sidewalks being built all over town has to do with this. @SMsince95, that’s what I thought too. It’s a strange thing to waive and for them to want waived. In any case, I’m glad they are doing well and expanding.

  7. Sidewalks = infrastructure. Infrastructure = one of government’s only true responsibilities….not the responsibility of private taxpayers.

    I’m all for government saving a buck when they can (since they waste so many on a regular basis), but not at the cost of abdicating one of their few true duties.

    But hey, gotta save money on sidewalks so we can pay for that next Council trip to Washington DC, right? Nothing is quite as important as seeing our small town elected officials try to “big boy” it on our dime…

  8. I’ve seen the recent flury of sidewalk construction. Seems like we approved funds for this at least a decade ago. We’re waiting for TxDot and the overpass project to replace the goat trails along Aquarena with sidewalks. LBJ was an embarrassment forever but they are finally getting it fixed.

  9. The city needs to provide sidewalks along many roadways, but I think it’s BS to make private land owners foot the bill. In violent agreement with Dano here. Pull money from specious public expenditures and use it to create sidewalks that improve public safety and encourage pedestrian traffic.

    (If anyone should be flying to DC, it should the director of economic development and possibly the mayor. That’s it. Two tickets on SW airlines, one double room at a Quality Inn, reasonable per deim. That’s how you spend the public’s money.)

    And kudos to Mensor for expanding its factory without squeezing the city right in the nethers for millions of dollars in tax abatements. I honestly did not think we’d ever see a company relocate or grow here without holding using the threat of moving elsewhere to hold taxpayers hostage.

    And it’s a manufacturing facility, no less! Will wonders never cease?

  10. I would agree that the Mayor might be called to travel to Washington on city business….that is, if he can squeeze it in among all of his vacations to China and following Blue October all over the place….one would almost think that the City has been running itself for the past couple years.

  11. I was hoping Dano would join in. I was kind of playing Devil’s advocate this time. I completely agree with Dano. I’m just still a little bitter about a sidewalk to nowhere I had to pay for once. But very happy for Mensor.

  12. Whether they should pay for it or not, I’d rather give up a sidewalk for this expanded facility, than a bunch of downtown parking for a retail center that will never be built, or a few million for a Target, to replace the Target we already had.

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