The old blue metal structure is now beige and brick with gleaming white silos along the front of the building now known as the Greencastle production facility for Phoenix Closures.
Another transformation will be apparent over the next month as a project to move the rail spur to the front of the building, along the west side of South Jackson Street, is undertaken. When the facility was last operated by Oxford six years ago, the rail spur actually went inside the building.
Now Ameritrack Rail, Frankfort, has been awarded a $345,907 contract by the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission to relocate that rail spur by removing the existing siding, excavation and roadbed and constructing a new spur by installing 1,000 feet of rail siding.
"The rail spur will run in front of the building from about the addition on the front to the north," Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Bill Dory told the Banner Graphic. "It won't come as far south as the silos."
The new rail spur location will allow Phoenix to off-load plastic pellets from rail cars by a vacuum system to be stored in the silos, Dory said, adding that Phoenix will also have the ability to off-load pellets by truck.
Ameritrack, a division of Railserve Inc., submitted the lowest of three bids considered by the Redvelopment Commission. Also bidding were JDH Contracting Inc., Plainfield, $533,541, and Balfour Beatty Rail Inc., Indianapolis, $706,000.
Ameritrack is expected to use local contractors for some of the excavation work, the Redevelopment Commission was told.
According to the incentive package that helped bring Phoenix Closures to Greencastle, the Illinois-based company is responsible for all costs above $300,000 on the rail spur project. Phoenix will also pay an additional $12,958 to have Ameritrack upgrade and install 7 x 9 railroad ties instead of the typical 6 x 8.
The spur will run across the front of the Phoenix plant, Dory explained, so plastic pellets can be off-loaded from train cars into the silos in front of the facility and from the silos into the building.
As part of the project, dirt work will fill in the adjacent gulley along Manhattan Road and help with drainage issues, Dory added.
Phoenix Closures, a manufacturer of plastic packaging, is expected to begin production locally in July.
"The folks from Phoenix have been pleased with the support of the community and the contractor," Dory told the Redevelopment Commission recently. "They're pretty excited to get going."
Phoenix officials want to be substantially done with the renovation and rail spur project by July 3, Dory said, and would like to plan an open house at the facility soon thereafter.
Phoenix will utilize the 225,000 square-foot facility, located on 57.5 acres of real estate, as a food-grade packaging manufacturing plant.
Once a big blue metal building that began its industrial life in 1971 as Greencastle Manufacturing, it also has been known as Lobdell-Emery Corp. It last operated as Oxford Automotive when it closed its doors and idled 330 workers six years ago.
A full-service, packaging manufacturer, Phoenix Closures specializes in injection-molded closures for the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and household chemical industries.
Besides stock and custom closures ranging in size from 22mm to 120mm, the company also offers such services as closure and package design and technical field support. One of the caps Phoenix Closures makes is the plastic top for Maxwell House Coffee.
Headquartered in Naperville, Ill., with manufacturing facilities in Naperville, Davenport, Iowa, and Newport, Tenn., and a distribution center in Ontario, Calif., Phoenix has company roots dating back to 1890.