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Plant property auctioned in King George County
Bob Hess (left) was the top bidder on the Mid-Atlantic Precast Concrete Inc. property in King George County.
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BY CATHY DYSON
A Pennsylvania company that builds noise barriers, retaining walls and other concrete products purchased the Mid-Atlantic Precast property in King George County on Tuesday for $2.55 million.
The price "actually was higher" than expected, said Mark Motley, president of the Richmond company that auctioned the property.
Faddis Concrete Products, which has home offices about 30 miles west of Philadelphia, plans to "get active fairly quickly" at the King George site, President Bob Hess said.
The company hopes to employ about 50 workers at the facility, which is in King George Industrial Park and has been vacant since Mid-Atlantic shut down in January.
The plant will become the sixth for Faddis--and by far its largest, Hess said.
The Pennsylvania company employs about 150 workers in five plants at four different locations, Hess said.
Mid-Atlantic, which made hollow-core walls for hotels, dormitories and apartment buildings, opened in October 2009 among considerable fanfare that included a reception with county and economic development officials. Problems developed as soon as it opened, as the company learned the day of its grand opening that it wouldn't get two big projects it was counting on, Mid-Atlantic President David Stone said at the time.
Mid-Atlantic had to lay off people soon after opening and reduce other operations.
In 2009, Mid-Atlantic hoped to employ 20 workers, then double its work force as the economy rebounded.
Instead, by the time the company closed, the staff was down to four, said former employee Shawn Newgrad.
Mid-Atlantic was about $8 million in debt, according to the foreclosure advertisement in The Free Lance-Star. Its debt included a loan through the federal Small Business Administration.
"Everything looked promising" when Mid-Atlantic opened, Newgrad said on Tuesday.
"It's such a shame the economy is in the state it's in."
Newgrad attended Tuesday's auction with about six other former Mid-Atlantic employees and about 30 people in the audience.
He gave his business card to Hess after the sale, and Hess encouraged others interested in working at the plant to contact him. He'll probably bring in his own managers, but certainly expects to hire local workers, he said Tuesday.