The former Carlisle Tire and Wheel plant is under contract to a New Jersey-based developer that plans to raze the building, recycle the steel and scrap and build a 25,000-square foot state-of-the-art medical arts building.
Brad Maurer, developer for RE Invest, said Tuesday the company has formed a limited liability company - called RE Invest Tire and Wheel Renewal LLC - which will officially purchase the 10-acre site from Carlisle Companies, the North Carolina-based corporation that owns the building.
"We signed an agreement with them in September," Maurer said. The initial closing date was scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, but has been delayed until November because of title issues.
"They've got our earnest money, we're buying," he said.
Once RE Invest acquires the property, it will convey the property to the Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority, which will make it eligible for state funding for clean-up under the industrial site re-use plan, Maurer explained.
The redevelopment authority will own the site and RE Invest will manage it. Once the environmental clean-up is complete, it will be conveyed back to RE Invest, according to Chris Houston, authority executive director.
The company could receive up to $1.2 million for the clean-up, but the exact amount is unknown.
"We buy industrial sites that have environmental issues and that's why Carlisle Companies was interested in our bid. They understand there might be environmental issues and they wanted to sell and have someone take over the environmental issues. There are non reported, there are none known, there are no known spills or leaks," Maurer said.
"But to operate a tire plant for 90 years, you're going to have environmental issues," he added. RE Invest is aware of underground storage tanks on the property.
Part of the company's plans are to re-open B Street, which was annexed by Carlisle Tire and Wheel as part of the company's site, Maurer said.
"Back in 1993, Carlisle Tire and Wheel actually took over B Street and built on top of it," he explained.
He said that RE Invest plans to co-ordinate its activities with those of Carlisle Events, which owns the IAC property nearby, to work out a master plan for the area.
The two companies, along with state Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-199, representatives from the office of state Sen. Pat Vance, R-31, and representatives from the borough have already met to begin discussing that plan.
"It's not that we're bound to it, but it's in everyone's best interests to co-ordinate," he said.
"The key thing is that we're very receptive to what the community wants to have in the borough. We're open to hearing from people exactly what they'd like to see for use there," he added.
The plan for a medical arts building was the desire of a developer with whom RE Invest has worked several other times.
"With the relatively new hospital (Carlisle Regional Medical Center), there's a focus on Carlisle for medical services in the region. We don't know of any medical arts buildings in the borough, so that's our original plan. We're not bound to that, but with that particular developer we know very well" that it will work, he said.
Any development will take place in phases over the next several years.
Because Carlisle Companies wanted to close on the building so quickly, RE Invest is further ahead in the acquisition phase than in the planning phase, he said.
Maurer's interest in Carlisle and environmental issues go back more than 20 years - the 1991 graduate of Dickinson College was one of the first environmental studies majors at the college, focusing on environmental issues in his business and management degree.
Maurer did not disclose the purchase price of the building, but Carlisle Companies was asking $2.7 million for the plant when it closed in November.
Joy Gillis, a spokeswoman for Carlisle Companies, did not return repeated messages seeking comment.