The plant is one of the largest industrial facilities in Danville. American Greetings, with about 1.3 million square feet, is the largest.
Tower Investments purchases one-fourth interest
In a related development, David Marks, senior vice president of Tower Investments, recently purchased a one-fourth interest in the plant at a price of $2.5 million. A deed detailing the property transaction has been filed in the Boyle County Clerk's office.
Debbie Sester, a paralegal in the Lexington office of the Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs law firm who prepared the deed, described Marks' purchase as an "internal company transaction" that will have no effect on the initial sale of the facility or Tower Investments' plans for or operation of the building.
The deed mentions two tracts, and Boyle PVA Eddie Tamme said those tracts comprise the property where the plant is located. He also referred to Marks' purchase as an "in-house property deal," not anything new or additional to Tower Investments' purchase.
Marks declined immediate comment on Tower Investments' purchase of the Panasonic property and his interest in it. However, the company's Web site includes a page with a detailed description of the plant, labeling the facility as the "Danville industrial/warehouse," and also a map and photos. According to the Web page, the plant was built in 1971 with additions constructed in 1974, 1976, 1983, 1985, 1996 and 1997.
Tower Investments is the fourth owner of the plant. The facility originally was owned and occupied by Whirlpool and then by Matsushita Floor Care Co. and Panasonic.
The Tower Investments' Web site also has a page on its other Kentucky property, a 314,052-square-foot "Somerset industrial/warehouse" building on 40 acres in the Pulaski County seat.
Leasing 187,000 square feet
J.D. Lewis, manager of Panasonic, said his company is leasing about 187,000 square feet of the 781,000-square-foot Danville plant. Lewis said the lease is for five years with an option for another five years. He declined to say how much Panasonic is paying in rent under its lease.
"We are using our portion of the building for office space and also for our after-market services and for some production and assembly," Lewis said, adding that Panasonic currently has some 180 employees.
Lewis said Panasonic determined a while ago that it did not need all of the space at the plant to conduct its operations but was looking for a way to remain in Danville.
"We wanted to stay here, and we found a way to do it, by selling the property but by remaining in the facility as a tenant," he said. "Securing the right to lease space in the plant on a five-year basis with an option was one of the conditions of the sale."
Bay West also leasing
Pete Chiericozzi, manager of Wausau Paper-Bay West, said his company has rented approximately 500,000 square feet under a multi-year lease.
He also declined to say how much his company is paying in rent under the lease. The space will be a distribution center for products made at the company's Harrodsburg production plant, he said.
"With a distribution center so close to our plant, we will be able to do direct shipping of our complete product line from one main site to our customers instead of shuttling products to various sites for distribution," said Chiericozzi.
Chiericozzi said his company currently is installing equipment and making modifications to the part of the Panasonic building that it is leasing. He expects the company to reach "full occupancy" by Oct. 1.
Eight to 10 people will be employed at the Wausau Paper-Bay West distribution center, he said.
Some 435 people are employed at the company's production plant on Industry Road in Harrodsburg, he said.
Tower Investments formed in 1989
Formed in 1989, Tower Investments is a real-estate investment and development company owned by the Marks family, including David Marks, and its employees, according to the company Web site.
"Tower Investments invests its own capital and self-manages a diverse portfolio of real estate and debt instruments secured by real estate throughout the United States and Canada," the Web site says. Tower Investments currently operates in Kentucky and 15 other states.
Tower Investments "maintains a team of professionals and consultants experienced in real estate development, planning and design, construction management, equity investments, project finance, leasing, property management, and building maintenance," the Web site says.
The Web site notes that Tower Investments is involved in the ownership and management of more than 100 active real estate projects, including seven rural residential communities; four mass-planned communities; 1,500 single-family subdivision lots; a million square feet of commercial, retail, office, hotel and medical space; and more than 121,000 acres of agricultural land.