(The Tennessean) -- Amid a vinyl records resurgence, one of the nation's leading vinyl record makers, United Record Pressing LLC, is expanding operations into a second location to try and meet demand.
The Nashville-based record maker paid $5.5 million for a 142,000-square-foot warehouse site on Allied Drive off Nolensville Pike where it plans to add 16 presses and storage space.
The expansion plans come amid growing demand from vinyl enthusiasts. "Our belief is that it's being driven by the rise in digital," said Jay Millar, United Record's director of marketing. "People who want something tangible and the best sound quality and experience are going to vinyl as opposed to CDs."
Millar said the 30 presses at the company's current location at 453 Chestnut St. in Nashville are operating 24 hours, six days a week. United Record will continue to operate from that location -- the largest record pressing plant in the country --- along with the new building, he said.
In a year that saw overall music sales decline 6.3 percent, vinyl sales increased to 6.1 million in 2013, up from 4.6 million the year before. By comparison, total vinyl sales failed to reach 1 million units in 2007.
The vinyl resurgence has made a mark on Middle Tennessee, where existing independent record stores are expanding, new stores are setting up shop and music fanatics are increasingly turning to the physical medium that dominated retail music decades ago.
"We are proud to be making this investment in the Nashville community and appreciate all of the support we have received," said Mark Michaels, United Record's CEO. "We are excited to build upon our great heritage and continue to manufacture innovative, high-quality vinyl records in the USA."
In an interview with USA Today last year, Michaels said company was hoping to increase its capacity 30 percent this year to meet demand for vinyl records.
United Record bought the new property located on 451-481 Allied Drive from Lone Maple Investors.
A year ago, that entity with Bill Hawkins and Matt Woodard of Chas. Hawkins Co. as managing joint venturers, had bought the south Nashville property for $3.2 million from plastics company A. Shulman Inc.
United Record was established in 1949, and is recognized as an industry leader in vinyl record manufacturing. The company was a key component of Jack White's recent successful attempt to launch the 'fastest single' ever.
Operating in the same building at 453 Chestnut since 1962 where they pressed the first Beatles 7" record in America and many Motown classics, they are still representing the lion's share of the chart toppers in the vinyl world.