CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- A cabinet company will hire more than 300 people over five years at a vacant former auto parts plant, ending a six-year search for a major new employer in Connersville, Mayor Leonard Urban said Thursday.
Wayzata Home Products Connersville, a unit of 6 Square Cabinet Co. based in Minnetonka, Minn., will occupy the former Visteon plant that closed in 2007, Urban told the Connersville News-Examiner on Thursday (http://bit.ly/1ho15rj ).
The company will occupy the same site where Carbon Motors planned for years to build high-tech police cars until its plans fell apart last year and the company filed bankruptcy.
Wayzata will invest about $12.5 million in the plant, Urban said.
"The best news is the former Visteon facility is now productive and back in manufacturing," Urban said. "This give the citizens of Connersville and Fayette County a new and hopeful outlook for the future of our community."
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. issued an advisory saying Gov. Mike Pence would travel to Connersville on Friday afternoon "for a major economic development announcement ... involving hundreds of new jobs."
The city about 50 miles east of Indianapolis agreed to sell the plant for $1. Urban said Wayzata will own the building and take over utilities, upkeep and insurance.
"If you go back, if not for Carbon Motors, this project would never have happened," Urban said. "When Carbon said they would come here, it made the (Visteon) bankruptcy court agree to give us the building. They would never had done that with nothing on the horizon. They would have salvaged the building to pay on the debt."
The state Brownfields Commission loaned the city money to clean up the site. If not for Carbon Motors promising to create jobs, that would never have happened, Urban said.
"No matter how much you hate Carbon Motors, they served a purpose and got us the building," he said. "I talked to a mayor of another city this week and he said, 'I don't know of another city that had the guts to take an old manufacturing, brownfield building, and do what you have done.' Most old buildings like this are being hit with bulldozers and wrecking balls. This may be one of a kind."
Those interested in applying for a position at the Connersville facility should visit www.cliqstudios.com/careers.