K&W Patten’s Metal Express is building a manufacturing facility in Walker, a $1.2 million investment that is expected to initially create 10 jobs.

The company has been in business for seven years, with a sales office in Denham Springs.

Bob Estave runs the firm with his son, Keith.

K&W Patten’s Metal Express produces metal roofing and steel building products for residential or commercial projects. Growing demand for its products prompted the decision for the company to build its own manufacturing facility, Bob Estave said Tuesday in a news release.

The Livingston Economic Development Council and Walker were instrumental in assisting the company to locate in Walker, while First Guaranty Bank in Walker was key in securing the financing for the project, Estave said.

The 14,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is already under construction in the CoMar Commerce Centre on U.S. 190 near La. 449, and is expected to be operational by September.

The firm is the second manufacturer in the past year to locate in CoMar, the first being Gilchrist Construction Co.’s asphalt plant.

Metal Express’s manufacturing will occupy 12,000 square feet of its facility, with 2,000 square feet reserved for offices and sales.

The firm has purchased a Titan II Series roll former to fabricate the 26- and 29-gauge metal panels it sells.

The company provides custom lengths in various colors with next-day service. The panels are fire resistant, energy-efficient and resistant to wind, storm and hail.

“We’re deep in the heart of a world recession,” Estave said. “But the response to our product has been overwhelming. We’re positioning ourselves for the tremendous growth of Livingston Parish and the surrounding communities.”

Estave said Walker was the ideal location for the company’s new manufacturing facility because of its proximity to Interstate 12 and accessibility to customers from Baton Rouge to the Northshore.

“This is another tremendous demonstration of the growth that we are experiencing here in Walker,” Mayor Bobby Font said. “We are very excited to welcome our first metal building manufacturer inside the city limits.”