By Sarah Einselen
---- — A Logansport manufacturing facility that's been vacant since 2009 is under contract to be sold, according to a local economic development official.
The former Modine Manufacturing Co. facility at 600 Water St. is under contract to another manufacturing company and was supposed to close last week, said John Hipskind, interim director at Cass-Logansport Economic Development Organization, but the buyer requested a current environmental study.
The most recent one is from 2009, said Hipskind, when Modine moved out.
Hipskind declined to name the buyer, citing the continuation of the buying contract period, but described the company as a manufacturer of steel components not uncommon to the Logansport area. The company also carries out equipment repair, Hipskind added.
If the purchase of the Modine building goes through, said Hipskind, the buyer has guaranteed to start out by hiring 25 to 30 employees and plans to raise that number to 60 people within 15 months after opening.
Modine's closure about four years ago left 126 employees out of work, according to news reports about the initial closure announcement in 2008.
Hipskind said he didn't know the sale price that had been negotiated, but understood it was "substantially below" the $1.3 million price tag it had once carried.
At 141,000 square feet, the building is likely to have some warehousing space available after the 90,000-120,000 square feet the prospective buyer will probably need, according to Hipskind.
The buyer asked for Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments to be conducted before closing the deal. The City of Logansport is footing the bill for those studies, Hipskind said, using money left in a fund from an environmental grant.
The studies are meant to identify existing or potential environmental contamination.
The phase I study should cost about $2,000, said Hipskind, while the cost of the Phase II study is likely to amount to at least $18,000.
"We're using that as leverage to complete the deal," Hipskind said.
The studies may push the closing on the property to the beginning of 2014.
Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151. Twitter: @PharosSME