Plastic packaging company buys old Oxford Automotive facility

Monday, August 22, 2011
The former Greencastle Manufacturing and Oxford Automotive plant on Manhattan Road has a new owner today. Phoenix Closures, a Naperville, Ill.-based manufacturing company, has purchased the 225,000-square-foot facility and its 57.5 acres of real estate.

With bad economic news still just sinking in about Putnam County's 10.5 percent unemployment rate, there is good news today to counter that.

The old Greencastle Manufacturing building, most recently known as the Oxford Automotive plant, has been purchased by Phoenix Closures, an Illinois-based company.

A manufacturer of plastic packaging, Phoenix Closures today announced plans to create up to 90 new jobs over the next several years at its new Greencastle location.

That announcement comes just three days after local officials learned that Putnam County had the sixth-worst jobless rate in the state for July.

The firm specializes in injection-molded closures for the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and household chemical industries. It plans to renovate and expand the former Oxford Automotive site at 370 N. Manhattan Rd. on Greencastle's southwest side.

The company plans to use the 225,000 square-foot facility built on 57.5 acres of real estate as a food-grade packaging manufacturing plant.

"Phoenix Closures could have built this new factory in a number of places, but they chose to do so in the top manufacturing state in the country," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels praised through a press release.

"Indiana's highly skilled workforce and strong business climate will give Phoenix Closures every opportunity for continued success. Greencastle will be a great home for this new facility."

Phoenix Closures will begin construction on the new facility later this year. The plant is scheduled to begin production in late 2012. It will mark the company's third new site since 2000.

"In addition to meeting our specific manufacturing requirements, the Greencastle site is located near our strategic markets and has potential for growth," Phoenix Closures Vice President of Manufacturing Ed Buck said.

The uniqueness of the 40-year-old manufacturing facility's design and location also served Phoenix Closures' needs, he said.

"The availability of a crane bay in the building and rail service makes the building a viable option for redevelopment," Buck added.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Phoenix Closures up to $800,000 in performance-based tax credits and $200,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans.

The City of Greencastle will be asked consider additional property tax abatement at the request of the Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center, GDC Director Bill Dory said.

"We are pleased to welcome Phoenix Closures to our Greencastle and Putnam County communities," Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray said.

"The community is looking forward to the transformation of a vacant facility into a new, world-class plastics manufacturing operation," she said. "This project is just one example of how the great business climate in Greencastle is helping the community grow and prosper."

The big blue building that began its industrial life as Greencastle Manufacturing in 1971 has also 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 Greencastle City Council resolution passed in July endorsed the site as an economic revitalization area and made the property eligible for industrial recovery tax credits for renovation and reuse of the facility.

Within the first few days of the Oxford site being designated a "dinosaur building" under the above resolution, GDC Director Bill Dory was seen hosting industrial prospects on the vacant property.

A full-service, packaging manufacturer, Phoenix Closures specializes in injection-molded closures for the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and household chemical industries.

In addition to stock and custom closures ranging in size from 22mm to 120mm, the company also offers such services as closure and package design, technical field support and personal customer service. One of the caps the company makes is the plastic Maxwell House Coffee top.

Headquartered in Naperville, Ill., with manufacturing facilities in Naperville, Davenport, Iowa, and Newport, Tenn., and a distribution center in Ontario, Calif., Phoenix services both domestic and foreign customers.

The company's origins date to 1890.

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  • that is good news!!!

    -- Posted by badboy46120 on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 12:48 AM
  • Wonderful news, when will they be taking applications? We so need these jobs....

    -- Posted by skater chic on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 4:50 AM
  • Well done Bill Dory, Mayor Murray and everyone involved!

    -- Posted by Geologist on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 5:52 AM
  • Finally, some good news for the job situation in Putnam County. See --- we don't need a "we build it, they will come" building. Just fill the empty ones we have now.

    -- Posted by not gullible on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 1:40 PM
  • Well done Bill Dory, Mayor Murray and everyone involved!

    -- Posted by VolunteerFF on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 5:52 AM

    I'll second that VolunteerFF!

    -- Posted by OldWhiteRepublican on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 3:23 PM
  • Jobs?!! Maybe they bought if for the scrap metal. The price is through the roof.

    -- Posted by DefiantToo on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 4:56 PM
  • How soon we forget. Dory was instrumental in getting the funds to build the "spec building" on the far east side. Good thing it sits far from the road. People might actually wonder what it is doing there. Just another example of the great forward thinking leadership we are so fortunate to have in Greencastle.

    -- Posted by Vernie1 on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 7:57 PM
  • Dont count your chickens before they are hatched, We have all heard this before!!!!! Will believe when the machines are being moved in.

    -- Posted by dirtytaco on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 12:47 AM
  • Wasn't the facility purchased a couple of years ago and slated to reopen 'soon'? I'm hoping this deal pans out the way it's supposed to. God knows our local workforce needs it.

    -- Posted by miraclemom3 on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 1:51 AM
  • I am amazed how good news can be twisted to be a catastrophe by some people. Or question the hard work of those people that are working to get any kind of business here. I hope prospective companies never read our speak outs. I also suppose if you have a job it is okay to criticize attempts to get jobs for those that don't.

    -- Posted by LitNup on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 7:05 AM
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