Whirlpool Corporation (Benton Harbor, Michigan, U.S.) sold a number of former Maytag Corporation facilities in the U.S., in Newton, Iowa; Florence, South Carolina; Galesburg and Herrin, Illinois; Searcy, Arkansas; and Ranson, West Virginia.
"We have been working in cooperation with business and community leaders in each of these locations to develop appropriate plans for the former Maytag properties," said David L. Swift, president, Whirlpool North America. "We believe that the sale of these properties and the resulting future reuse and redevelopment is another important step forward in the ongoing transition of each of the communities."
Whirlpool sold the majority of the Maytag headquarters building complex in Newton, Iowa, to Iowa Telecom. Following the sale, some of the property will be transferred to the Des Moines Area Community College to be converted and used as a regional vocational training center. In the near future Whirlpool has the option to sell to the Jasper Community Foundation the vacant Maytag manufacturing facility in the downtown of the city. Plans call for the elimination of the old buildings to improve the area with a planned green space. Whirlpool also will lease back some of the headquarters facility through 2007 to support certain integration-related work that will continue into the second half of 2007. Whirlpool will also transfer the former Product Development building in downtown Newton and the Maytag Guest House to the Jasper Community Foundation to support long-term economic development strategies in the community.
Manufacturing facilities in Newton, Galesburg, Herrin, Searcy, and Ranson were sold together as a package to Industrial Realty Group (IRG) of Los Angeles. IRG specializes in the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of excess corporate real estate and manufacturing facilities, closed military and government facilities, underutilized corporate campuses, industrial parks, and large vacant buildings. Whirlpool will lease back the plants in Herrin and Searcy through April 2007 to ensure proper cleaning and shutdown operations occur as planned. Whirlpool previously announced the closure of both plants. Whirlpool also will lease back the Newton plant, as well as the adjacent manufacturing support facilities, through February 2008 to ensure proper cleaning and shutdown operations occur as planned. Whirlpool will continue to operate one of the adjacent manufacturing support facilities for up to five years to support the production of spare parts. Whirlpool previously announced that the Newton plant would close in the second half of 2007. In Galesburg and Ranson, IRG will begin discussions with community officials and business leaders to determine possible redevelopment plans.
The former Maytag manufacturing facility in Florence was sold to Hackman Capital Partners, LLC of Los Angeles, a private asset-based investment firm that specializes in the acquisition of real estate and capital assets. The company focuses on value-added real estate investments that involve either leased or vacant industrial properties, capital assets, financial restructurings or other unique real estate opportunities where complex processes must be navigated to successfully restructure or reposition the investment.
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