We all knew this was coming but it’s sad to see this article posted today. I live right next to the factory and no matter what people say about the sounds & smells that come from the factory, it has been really nice living here. It has been comforting to know that those guy & ladies are working there night & day, as it made the area feel safer. Someone was always around & the security trucks circled the building all the time. I certainly hope that someone buys the factory & gives it some sort of new life again soon. Best wishes to all of the employees who have worked there tirelessly. I will miss seeing you each day.
From the Sentinel:
Friday will not only be the day to ring in the new year, it will also be the last day of work for most of the remaining employees at Carlisle Tire & Wheel.
“Most of our employees will be released by Dec. 31, some employees will stay on in preparation of moving the final stages of equipment, and a few employees will temporarily be working in Jackson, Tenn., to ensure a smooth transition,” said Tom Collingsworth, human resources manager at the North College Street plant.
The move is no surprise. CTW officials announced last July that its Carlisle facility would close in 12 to 15 months. Production is being shifted to the new Tennessee plant.
At the time, the closing was said to affect about 340 employees – roughly 20 percent of the employees were salaried and 80 percent were hourly.
Operations at the Carlisle plant are expect to end by the first quarter of 2011, Collingsworth said.
“Most of our employees have elected to stay with us throughout this process and we are very grateful for their contributions to the company,” he said.
A CTW distribution center on Ritner Highway is slated to remain open, as is Carlisle SynTec, a roofing materials business owned by CTW parent company Carlisle Companies, located just down the road from the distribution center.
Though employees were offered a chance to relocate to Jackson in order to keep their jobs, it doesn’t make losing the plant an easier pill to swallow.
Councilman Perry Heath, who heads borough council’s Economic Development Planning Committee, said the closure will have a ripple effect across the area.
The loss of workers means less money will be spent at businesses and the loss of the plant means less revenue for the borough.
As an example, Heath said, when the Carlisle Hospital moved to South Middleton Township in 2006, the borough lost its largest water user, causing a dip in water revenues.
That caused water rates to increase across the borough, he added. Since CTW is one the larger water users, the same might happen again.
“It’s not just a matter of having a vacant building,” Heath said.
With the plant closing, an opportunity presents itself in the form of redevelopment.
“There is a lot of great potential,” Heath said.
Borough officials stand ready to assist the next owner of the property with redevelopment, he added.
Sean Shultz, president of borough council, said he too sees light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s difficult to see the departure of such a longtime institution, but I am optimistic about the future of the site,” he said.
Council and borough staff have been working with officials at the county and state levels, as well as with private entities to come up with a way to redevelop the property.
The recent purchase of the former International Automotive Components on nearby Spring Road by Carlisle Events buoys Shultz’s optimism that the CTW plant will also find a new owner willing to invest in the property.
“Having seen the investment by Carlisle Events at the IAC plant, I believe our optimism is well-founded,” he said.
Presently, the CTW property at 621 N. College St. is listed for sale on the CB Richard Ellis’ property listing website. According to the listing, the property features 382,265 square feet between the main building and other structures on 12 acres of land. The property, zoned for industrial use, has an asking price of $2.7 million.
Omar Shute, executive director of the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation, said he wasn’t aware of any interest in the property from potential buyers.
“We have not heard of any serious interest in the property so far,” he said.
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