County, TanTec agree on $1.5M for Ceres site; awaits Calsonic OK

Published 8:45am Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A tentative purchase price on the building at Ceres industrial park eyed by ISA TanTec as its first U.S. plant is in hand and lower due to vandalism last month at the site.

A price just above $1.5 million appears on paperwork Warren County received late last week from the German-invested leather tannery. County supervisors approved it Monday pending final notification from CalsonicKansei, which owns the 140,000 square-foot building.

The theft of copper wiring from the site in June triggered a $750,000 insurance claim, reducing its value, officials said in meetings last Friday as they inched toward nailing down the site so the plant can meet a Jan. 1, 2015 target date to start production.

“We have not received the final purchase-sale from Calsonic,” port director Wayne Mansfield told supervisors, adding a Japanese work holiday was cited in an early-morning email. July 21 is Marine Day, a national holiday in Japan. Four of five supervisors were comfortable with approving the documents without Calsonic’s correspondence; District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon cast the lone nay vote.

The county has applied for a $2 million capital improvement loan to purchase the building. Terms call for it to be repaid over 15 years. About $2.65 million in state money will be tapped to build a wastewater treatment system and improve roads around the building.

Supervisors on Monday also OK’d a subordination agreement with RiverHills Bank tied to a loan the company is taking out to pay for dryers, presses and other equipment. Terms give the bank the ability to repossess the equipment in case the deal falls through. Also, the board relented on an earlier hard-line stance against renaming the road on which the plant sits TanTec Way. Currently, it’s on the county road register as Calsonic Way.

ISA TanTec, which tans and packs raw leather at plants in China and Vietnam, sells leather to shoe makers including Timberland, Wolverine, Deckers, Clarks, Merrell, Sperry, Rockport and New Balance, among other apparel makers.

Editor's Picks