SIMFLO’s “People First” Decision to Make A Move Downtown
Downtown Lubbock • November 1, 2023
A Local Company’s Unique “Why” for Downtown Relocation
Although this story of a company doesn’t begin in downtown Lubbock… that’s where it’s going to take us.
In 1951, in the small West Texas town of Sundown, a man named Clarence Simmons opened a modest machine shop to repair vertical turbine pumps. In 1955, Mr. Simmons hired an entrepreneur named Raymond Pickering who knew Mr. Simmons’ company had opportunities to become more than just a machine shop.
Mr. Pickering took that machine shop and turned it into a successful manufacturing company offering its own branded line of pumps. . What started as one brand bowl assembly that was sold in 1956 has turned into a major manufacturing operation producing over 75 different vertical and submersible turbine pumps, as well as countless replacement parts and accessories. Since the business was founded 72 years ago, the company now known as SIMFLO is a global manufacturing company focusing on the overall movement of various fluids. Today, SIMFLO has grown beyond its humble beginnings as a local machine shop servicing the agricultural water well market in West Texas.
What is SIMFLO?
Now, in 2023, SIMFLO serves a largely diverse customer base. The company now manufactures parts for municipalities, commercial enterprises, , and industries from oil and gas to pulp and paper, as well as agricultural applications. SIMFLO operates locations in Texas, Arizona, and Mississippi.
But let’s get down to business. Let’s talk about the downtown headquarters they’re renovating.
Because SIMFLO isn’t really in the market for foot traffic in downtown… They have a unique desire for wanting to be in DLBK–their employees. Troy Pickering, CEO of SIMFLO, cites the irreplicable culture of the area as their reason for the move. “First was people going downtown, walking to have lunch on nice days. You can't just get that anywhere else except in a downtown community. So that was certainly, from a corporate standpoint, something we wanted to be able to have as part of our company’s culture,” stated Pickering.
Pickering says the company’s announcement of the downtown move was immediately followed by excitement from their staff. “The more people and businesses that relocate downtown certainly give the employees of those businesses more opportunities and different perspectives on things that they wouldn't traditionally have in Lubbock,” shared Pickering.
Pickering gave one more inspiring reason for their decision to relocate–support from the downtown community, saying it’s a very real opportunity for new and existing businesses.
LEDA + Downtown Grant Support from Market Lubbock
Aside from support from other downtown businesses, Pickering says that is largely due to LEDA, or the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance. “They've always been very helpful in connecting the community to business, and I think that's a really critical part of what they do,” said Pickering.
SIMFLO is also a recipient of both a facade and permittable grant through the Downtown Grant Program at Market Lubbock. Pickering shared that the company is making a 1.6 million dollar investment into the renovations and remodeling they are doing to their 619 Broadway building. Pickering says Market Lubbock is an essential part of that, “For downtown, of course, we became aware of the grant program and worked with Jorge Quirino through the process. It was without a doubt the deciding factor of us being in the downtown area, no question… They've always been a great resource and liaison to make sure that our construction projects transition smoothly…”
SIMFLO’s Modern Plans for the Future
So, what exactly will these grand renovations look like? Pickering said it was incredibly important in their design process to not only make the building operational for their processes and staff, but match the downtown aesthetic that so many businesses are capturing now-a-days.
What Pickering described as “modernization” will include massive windows at the front of the building, welcoming natural light and SIMFLO’s visitors, 22 offices perfect for current and future employees, and their most anticipated addition–a neon sign to christen and crown their new location. Pickering says their organization is passionate about that finishing touch of the neon sign, stating it will be the perfect addition to capture the nostalgia and aesthetic of the area.
SIMFLO’s renovations are expected to be completed in the summer of 2024. Downtown LBK will keep you updated and bring you the latest news as we grow closer to their move-in date.
We are thrilled to welcome SIMFLO to DLBK. It’s businesses and people like SIMFLO that help us meet our goal and realize our vision of a more vibrant, community driven downtown area.
Troy Pickering hopes their relocation will not only serve a greater purpose for downtown, but the city of Lubbock as a whole, sending out a call-to-action for other businesses in the area, “We hope and encourage other businesses to want to come and invest in downtown Lubbock and be part of a greater downtown community.”