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Pohl Iron Works to be Sold After More Than 150 Years in Business

Pohl Iron Works to be sold after more than 150 years in business

This article was written by Michael L. Jones and originally appeared in Louisville Business First on March 27, 2024.

A family-owned iron fabrication business is getting a new owner after 150 years in business.

Rob Baker, the foreman at Pohl Iron Works, is purchasing the business from Rodney and Nancy Pohl, who are the fourth generation of the Pohl family to operate the fabrication shop.

“It was a blessing that he came in at the time that Rodney decided to leave, but he’s always been interested in aviation,” Pohl said. “He was a flight engineer in the Navy and all of that. He’s pursuing his own interests.”

As part of the transition, Pohl Iron Works is leaving its longtime home at 901 E. Main St. in Butchertown, which is owned by the Pohl family, to a nearly 6,000 square foot space in a building at 724 W. Breckinridge St. in the Limerick neighborhood on the edge of Old Louisville.

The new property is owned by FS3 LLC, according to the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator’s records. FS3 is registered to Fitz Schultze of Stanley Schultze & Co. Inc., another longtime family-owned business.

Baker said the details of the business sale will not be finalized until after the move.

“We’re moving in April. We’re going to get the move figured out and behind us and then do all the details and paperwork and all this stuff,” Baker explained. “It’s gonna still be family owned, but it’ll be a different family because my son works here.”

Pohl and Baker declined to release the financial terms of the sale. The company’s four employees will stay with the business.

Pohl Iron Works is one of the oldest family-run businesses in Louisville. It was founded by Edward Pohl some time in the 1800s. Nancy Pohl said it is known that Edward moved the already-existing business into a building at 618 E. Jefferson St. in 1880.

The company moved into its current location on East Main St. in 1938. The East Main Street building is in the process of being sold.

Jon Grell, commercial brokerage specialist with Pluris Real Estate, said his company will be involved in redeveloping the building.

“901 E Main St LLC is acquiring the Pohl building, and Pluris is exploring opportunities to invest in an exciting entertainment concept,” Grell explained. “Our plan is to create a place where the community can gather for years to come. As managing partner of the project, I am currently discussing with interested tenants that we can work collaboratively with to bring our vision to life. We’re hopeful to share updates on these plans in the coming months.”

Baker also grew up in a family that worked in the welding and metal fabrication business. He became interested in the trade at 17 after his uncles took him to a plant in Indiana where he learned the trade by working on mail carts. He started working at Pohl Iron Works in 2010.

“I actually worked two blocks up (from Pohl) at a place called NST Metals for years,” Baker remembered. “I drove by this place every morning for seven years. A friend of mine told me they were looking for people, so I came down to talk to them. I liked them and they liked me. It seems so long ago.”

Baker said he has no intention of changing the name of the business because of its reputation.

 “I always like to tell people, ‘You don’t stay in business for 150 years by screwing people over,’” Baker added. “Basically, our name and our reputation speaks for itself.”