web page consultants:
may be sold
|By NANCY ALLEN
The Daily Standard
Officials from Bruns Building and Development of St. Henry confirmed
Thursday that they are purchasing the sprawling former AGCO Corp. building in Coldwater.
And the former AGCO Training Center, a separate 14,000-square-feet
building located across the street from the old factory, also may be sold in the coming
weeks to an undisclosed buyer, a press release from Bruns Building and Development
President Mike Bruns indicates.
Bruns said the company has completed the transactions necessary to
finalize the purchase of the roughly 1.5-million-square-foot plant that used to house one
of the county's largest employers, farm machinery manufacturer AGCO Corp.
Bruns spokesperson Konnie Rutschilling on Thursday said the company has
not officially closed on the sale and expects to do so some time this month. Rutschilling
called the closing a technicality, adding that everything else that needed to be done to
make the deal happen has been completed.
There are four businesses already using about 270,000-square feet of
the building. Those businesses are Obringer Wheel Co., which makes bicycle wheels;
Celina-based Bayview Marina, which uses part of the building for boat storage;
Professional Finish, an interior prefinish wood company; and The Relizon Co., the
building's latest occupant. The Relizon Co. spun off from Reynolds & Reynolds Co. in
Celina and prints various business forms.
Bruns Building and Development will use its own crews to maintain and
renovate the building, Bruns said in the release. The next step is to pursue additional
companies to lease portions of it.
Mercer County Community Development Director Larry Stelzer on Thursday
praised Bruns for purchasing the building, keeping it in local hands.
"There were two other companies bidding on the building, one from
Pennsylvania and one from Ohio," Stelzer said. "We already have some companies
looking at moving in. One of them could bring 200 manufacturing jobs to Mercer
Stelzer said numerous potential buyers had been shown through the
facility during the last 10 months, but he would not reveal the names of the companies.
AGCO Corp. closed its farm machinery plant in Coldwater in the fall of
1999 and moved the work to Kansas and Europe. About 450 AGCO employees, most of whom had
been laid off for a good part of the year, lost their jobs.
Before it began cutting back operations in 1998, the company employed
850 workers. The highest employment at that facility was 1,700 in 1979.
The building, originally the New Idea plant, was built in the early
1900s and has had several owners. After the original owners, the Oppeheim family, it was
owned by AVCO Corporation until 1984 when it was purchased by Allied Products Corporation.
AGCO Corp. purchased the business in 1994 and the facility in 1998.
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