TUCSON, AZ – Represented by Tom Hunt of Tango Commercial Real Estate, Willis Metal Crafts has purchased 15,200-square-feet of land with 5,000-square-feet of improvements formerly occupied by Scott Supply Services at 3214 East 46th Street in Tucson, Arizona for $200,000 ($40 PSF). The company plans to complete its move there this month.
Founded in November of 2014 by local welder and fabricator Brandon Willis, Willis Metal Crafts outgrew its original digs in Willis’ garage within a year. The new space will afford Willis and his two employees more room to work along with the opportunity to expand. Willis says he plans to immediately hire another employee as soon as he completes the move.
“It’s always fun to meet and work with young entrepreneurs like Brandon,” said Hunt, who showed Willis 30 spaces before the right one clicked. “He has a fire in his belly and isn’t afraid to work hard.”
Born and raised in Tucson, Willis learned his strong work ethic from his single mom and knew early on that a desk job was not for him. After earning his certification in welding technology from Pima Community College and working for another business owner, Willis started his own business at age 25. A self-described perfectionist who takes pride in his work, Willis doesn’t see his business growth slowing any time soon.
Espousing the Trades
Willis hopes his own success story will inspire more young people to turn to the trades as an honest, satisfying and well paid profession.
“You work for the money you make but I think [the trades] are more satisfying because at the end of the day there’s something tangible that you made, you can see it, touch it, feel it, it’s hot, it’s cold, it’s real, it’s not just a number on a screen or a paper you’ve handed to someone.
“I feel like nowadays everybody expects everything to be handed to them, my generation and younger,” explained Willis, now 27. “I think that’s one thing the trades have to offer people just as a kind of a lifestyle. Most people in the trades respect their time a little more because they’re really working for it. It’s one of the only things in this country left that still has a lot of pride associated with it. Most tradesmen are very proud of what they do. It doesn’t matter if they do drywall, or a machinist or a painter. It’s a pride thing. I think a lot of kids nowadays don’t care about that. They want what they want right now and they’ll do anything to get it.”
Willis and Hunt agree that introducing young people to the trades at a young age is important for their own future and the future of the Tucson community. Developing skills gives kids the confidence they need to make their own way through life without a handout or resorting to illegal activities.
“The public school system doesn’t devote enough time or money to the trade programs at all. Tucson High got rid of a lot of them. Not everybody is cut out to sit in an office and do an office job or be an accountant. You know a lot of people can’t do that. I think we should put way more money and time into the trades be it welding, machining…. Without the trades the world would stop,” Willis said.
While 75% of Willis’ work goes to local customers like Creative Machines and Dove Mountain Homes, his company also does work for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and others. “We do anything from aerospace, to government, to public art, to jewelry tools, to automotive components. If anything is made out of metal, we can make it.”
Paul Hooker with Cushman & Wakefield | Picor represented the sellers, Joseph and Shirley C. Scott.
To learn more, Hooker should be contacted at 520.546.2704 while Hunt can be reached at 520.276.9779