From the Sentinel:
It’s hard to miss the former International Automotive Components plant on Spring Road in Carlisle.
The massive brick building is a landmark of sorts and since the plant shuttered nearly two years ago, its fate has been unknown.
But the recent purchase by Carlisle Events could breath new life into this piece of Carlisle’s industrial history.
Carlisle Events officials are seeking tenants to lease parts of the nearly 900,000 square feet of usable building space.
“(It’s) a big open building that’s a big blank canvas,” said Lance Miller, co-owner of Carlisle Events.
Inside the building, the vastness is almost overwhelming.
Miller said on Monday that he’s gotten lost a few times while traversing the interconnected buildings in a golf cart.
Buzzing up a ramp that connects one section of the building to another section in the small golf cart, its headlights piercing the shadowy darkness, it’s more of the same openness and emptiness.
Except for a couple pieces of IAC-owned equipment left over from the days when the factory was manufacturing carpet for the automotive industry, that part of the building is like the rest – barren.
The equipment – one of the few reminders that workers once relied on the building as a source of income – will be moved out in a few months, Miller said.
Since buying the building for an undisclosed sum, Carlisle Events’ next task was to shore up the heating and cooling systems.
“We’re impressed with the condition of the place,” said Bill Miller Jr., a co-owner of the family-owned Carlisle Events.
Work crews were scattered around the building Monday taking on different tasks.
With winter just around the corner, the heating system is being worked on. Landscaping will also be done in the future and round-the-clock security guards keep a watchful eye on the grounds.
Once the property is brought up to par, Bill Miller said the next step will be to find tenants.
Since Carlisle Events announced it purchased the property, they have heard all kinds of ideas for the old plant, Lance Miller said.
One area could be suited for an ice or roller skating rink, Lance Miller said, repeating suggestions he’s been given, while another area could be a good place for an indoor go-cart track.
“I’d like to see some sort of indoor (and outdoor) activity center for families that doesn’t require a huge yearly membership fee. It could be pay as you visit, punch cards for multiple visits or memberships,” said Dana Stout of Carlisle.
The center could include amenities such as basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts, as well as climbing walls, batting cages and trampolines, she added.
Another idea residents have is to turn part of the property into a farmer’s market.
“The location on Spring Road with loads of parking would be ideal,” said Stacy Snyder of Carlisle.