PDT Staff Writer
Sixteen economic development leaders and elected officials from the four surrounding counties Thursday toured the massive Masco Corporation facilities, including the one million square foot Jackson Building at the Zahns Corner Industrial Park and the 11-building complex spanning more than 2.5 million square feet in Waverly.
The Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) arranged the tour to provide an opportunity for key economic development officers and other officials to see, first-hand, the assets associated with the buildings to help market both locations for potential users to bring jobs to southern Ohio.
Officials were guided through the facilities by Onno Steger, senior vice president of Colliers International Greater Columbus Region, the industrial real estate management firm handling the property for Masco.
The buildings have been essentially empty since Masco terminated the local cabinet manufacturing operations in Pike County in mid-2011. Headquartered in Taylor, Michigan, Masco is a manufacturer of home improvement and building products. Masco announced the closure of its Pike County facilities back in April 2010 with layoffs beginning that May and final closure in June 2011. The shutdown resulted in the loss of more than 1,200 permanent and 200 temporary jobs.
About 50,000 square feet of one building on the Waverly campus is currently under a 3-year lease agreement.
“Finding a new employer for these facilities is tantamount to the economic livelihood of our region,” SODI Executive Director Steve Shepherd said. “The local elected officials and economic development officers are working closely together to provide as much information to each other as possible to fully market these assets.”
Steger said his firm has had more than 25 companies look at the facilities and three groups appear to be showing some interest in the site. One of the difficulties has been the sheer size of the complex and the fact that Masco Corporation desires to sell the Waverly campus in its entirety and not lease or split up the buildings, according to Steger. Listing price for the 11-building Waverly Masco site covering 228 acres is $12.6 million. The purchase price for the one-million square foot Zahns Corner Industrial Park building located on 84 acres is $8.2 million.
Shepherd said major assets of the Masco complex include access to heavy power with an on-site substation; rail access availability to both CSX and Norfolk/Southern; M-2 industrial zoning; 500-plus trailer spaces; 175 docks with 21 drive-ins; six-inch reinforced concrete floors; over 30,000 square feet of office space; a guard station with fenced perimeter; and a large warehousing and manufacturing facilities.
Those attending the tour included Pike County Commissioners Harry Rider, Teddy West and Blaine Beekman; Steve Shepherd and Hayley Brabson of SODI; Waverly Mayor Greg Kempton; Jerry Schneider, Fluor-B&W Portsmouth and Jim Bruce, Fluor-B&W’s economic development consultant; Sharon Manson, director of the Pike County Visitors Bureau; Pike County Economic Development Director Chris Ervin; Chris Manegold, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio; Sam Brady and Tim Wojdacz, Jackson County Economic Development Board; Jessica Purdon, Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission; Sandy Childers, InSolves; and Julie Galloway, EHI supporting the Portsmouth Site Specific Advisory Board.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org