Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Styro Fabricators

This installment of the tour of the Fairgrounds Branch, covers Styro Fabricators, which is spot #353 on the 1972 Map.  Earlier research based mainly on this Sanborn Map shows this location being a warehouse for Safeway Produce, but this is only accurate up through the mid-1950s.

Research on Safeway's history in the greater Kansas City area reveals a hostile takeover from the private equity world in 1986 that led to the divestiture of the Kansas City operations in 1988.  Given that Stryo Fabricators is listed on the 1972 spot map, this particular location apparently outlived its grocery warehouse usefulness long before Safeway retreated from the market.  There's a loose reference in a link on the Safeway Bakery post that indicates a regional radius of 250 miles was served from the bakery and presumably this location as well.

In the target era, we have Styro Fabricators -- a manufacturer of polyisocyanurate pipe insulation.  It isn't clear what scale their operation was at, but the Frisco must have delivered railcar loads of some of the raw materials, perhaps in liquid chemical or granular form.  More research is required, but this may provide an opportunity to spot either tank cars or covered hoppers on this spur  Boxcars of chemical drums is another possibility; especially if the input chemicals had to be blended on site.  Perhaps additionally, they may have originated loads from here, but that seems less likely.

Styro Fabricators must have changed hands or completed the move to 3327 Roanoke Road in 1995, as that's all that is available online, including in the Missouri Secretary of State database.  Since then, the company has evolved into Bradco, which is the current occupant at that location up the street.  It is quite conceivable that the business started out at this original facility (3525 Roanoke Road) and later moved to the 3327 Roanoke building as the former Safeway Bakery property became available.  The extruded pipe insulation that Styro Fabricators produced now appears to be one of Bradco's product lines.

Present day pictures, for reference:

Also uncovered during research is that the present day occupant of 3525 Roanoke Rd is a company called MEDiAHEAD  They've been using that name since 2013 and were formerly known as Colormark which was started in 1990 as a business but possibly only since 2001 at this location.  That would align with Styro Fabricators relocating a few doors north on Roanoke Road and some vacant time.

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