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New Jersey company eyeing former Omnova site for investment

 

A New Jersey-based investment group is attempting to buy the 80-acre former Omnova site in east Columbus. A representative with the group said he hopes to bring manufacturing or a distribution center to the site.

A New Jersey-based investment group is attempting to buy the 80-acre former Omnova site in east Columbus. A representative with the group said he hopes to bring manufacturing or a distribution center to the site. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

 

Alex Holloway

 

 

The former Omnova property may soon have a new owner that's interested in attracting a tenant to fill the site. 

 

Local Realtor Royce Hudspeth, with Rhett Real Estate, Inc., confirmed on Tuesday the sale of the 80-acre property with a 680,000 square-foot building is pending. Hudspeth said he could not say the sale price, but the property is listed for $3 million. 

 

New Jersey-based SNS Investments is considering purchasing the property, located at the corner of Highway 69 and Yorkville Road in east Columbus. Hudspeth said the company is completing due diligence before the sale can become final. It's still unclear how long that process will take. 

 

Should SNS Investments purchase the property, Hudspeth said the company may look to bring a distribution center there. 

 

"This is by far the largest property of its kind in Columbus," he said. "There's no other property in town that has almost 700,000 square feet. It's one of the largest properties of its kind in north Mississippi. 

 

"I think this would be good for that," he later added. "There's a demand for it. And for East Columbus, if they can get this thing going, it would be great for that part of town." 

 

Steven Langert, managing member for SNS Investments, said the company purchases distressed properties and rehabilitates them, with the goal of bringing them back to market and leasing them out. Langert confirmed, should the sale go through, he hopes to attract some sort of industry to the old Omnova property, such as manufacturing or a distribution center. 

 

He even complimented the high profile the Golden Triangle LINK and its CEO Joe Max Higgins have brought to economic development in the region. 

 

"It's a larger type of industrial property with good bones to it," Langert said. "We believe in that area. Your economic developer has done a tremendous job in bringing industry to the area. We're hoping we can play a little part in rehabilitating that property and creating some jobs and excitement." 

 

If the purchase goes through, Langert said he'd hope to begin working on rehabilitating the property and reaching out to potential tenants within 90 to 180 days. 

 

"Our hope is to come in and invest a significant amount of money to rehabilitate the building," he said. "That means put in new infrastructure, upgrade the electricity, roof, lights, sprinkler system, all of those things. We want to attract a light manufacturing or distribution company to the rest of the building." 

 

General Tire Rubber Company first owned the property beginning in April 1962, according to deed records in the Lowndes County Tax Assessor's Office. The property shifted hands to Omnova Solutions, Inc., in October 1999. Its current owner, Columbus Business Center, LLC, has owned it since July 2013. 

 

Columbus Business Center, LLC is based out of Union, Missouri, according to the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office. The company could not be reached for comment. 

 

Hudspeth said Omnova leases about a third of the property, or roughly 225,000 square feet, as a distribution center. 

 

Langert said he hopes to keep Omnova as a long-term tenant and to work to attract another tenant to fill the rest of the property. 

 

He said he looks forward to potentially working with the LINK to help attract a business. 

 

"We're very excited to look at this undertaking," he said. "We're very hopeful to do our part to help bring some industry and some business back to that part of the state."

 

 

 

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