County closes TanTec site deal

Published 11:30 am Friday, August 29, 2014

As the deadline drew near, the county closed the deal on the former Calsonic plant at Ceres industrial park for use by TanTec.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $1.5 million deal to purchase the former Calsonic site at Ceres Research and Industrial Interplex. The tannery will be the first in the United States for German-invested TanTec.

Today was the deadline for the deal.

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“It’s taken a little extra time and effort on everybody’s part, but we’re excited about it,” said Bill Lauderdale, president of the Board of Supervisors.

The project, which will be known as Mississippi TanTec Leather, Inc., represents a $10.1 million corporate investment and will create 366 new jobs, company officials have said.

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.

Warren County Port Commission director Wayne Mansfield delivered the paperwork to the Mississippi Development Authority on Thursday after the Board of Supervisors meeting.

In June MDA decided to use about $2.65 million in state money rather than a federal block grant to build a wastewater treatment system and improve roads around the building.

The German-invested leather tannery has set a target date of Jan. 1 for opening in the 140,000 square-foot building.

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.