A metro-east industrial plant that has mostly remained vacant during the past decade is about to see some new life.
The former Big River Zinc plant located off Illinois 3, at 2401 Mississippi Ave in Sauget, has been purchased by Jet Enterprises and Holding Co. LCC. The holding company has partnered with Kentucky construction company All Purpose Steel Construction Inc. to develop a metal and steel-fabrication plant at the site.
Steve Zuber, of Barber Murphy Group in Shiloh, was the real estate broker in the transaction and will be managing the site for Jet Enterprises and Holding Co. Zuber would not disclose the price paid for the property. He said most of the 200,000 square feet of buildings will be demolished, and some of the existing warehouse space will be renovated within the next six months following a cleanup throughout the site.
“It will provide a great location next to all the interstates and downtown St. Louis,” Zuber said. “There is a lot of potential in that site for other types of manufacturing and warehouse storage.”
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It’s exciting to see how the village could benefit from it. We are also looking at new jobs for the area, and other things that it would bring with it.
Mayor Rich Sauget Jr. on the activity at the former Big River Zinc plant
Greg James, owner of All Purpose Steel Construction Inc. in Bedford, Ky., said his company plans to create a metal fabrication plant and a steel distribution center on site with the ability to perform machining, tool and dye work. James said he anticipates hiring as many as 30 employees and leasing the rest of the space.
“There is a multitude of other things, but at this time it’s still up in the air what we we’re going to do,” James said. “We want to make sure that this comes to fruition.”
Korea Zinc Ltd. bought the electrolytic zinc refinery in 1996. In December 2005, the company announced that 215 employees would be laid off if a buyer did not come forward. The following year, British company ZincOx Resources announced plans to buy the plant for about $15 million, invest another $50 million in upgrades and hire about 140. However, the sale remained stalled and only 17 were employed there by the fall of 2006.
Village financial adviser Lisa Bowman said the plant had a presence until it was sold a decade ago. She said there was nominal activity there until the last couple of years. She said the village is pleased to see a new business reoccupying the property.
“They are beginning to clean it up, and we like seeing that they are going to create new revenue and will be generating new activity for the village,” Bowman said.
Mayor Rich Sauget Jr. said the reinvestment could help rejuvenate the mostly vacant property.
“It’s exciting to see how the village could benefit from it,” Sauget said. We are also looking at new jobs for the area, and other things that it would bring with it.”