FORT SMITH (KFSM)-An unused manufacturing facility that was supposed to bring 400 jobs to Chaffee Crossing is now on the market.
Susan Fernandez with Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas issued a statement saying they'd like to find use for the space, but they are looking for prospective buyers.
“We are continuing to explore all possibilities to bring jobs to Fort Smith and Arkansas. This has included looking for the right use of this quality facility within the Mitsubishi family of companies. While we continue to seek the right use of the plant within Mitsubishi, we have listed this property for sale in the event another company is interested in purchasing this plant and creating jobs in Fort Smith.”
The company announced plans in 2009 to build a $100 million wind-turbine plant on 92 acres at Fort Chaffee.
“When the plant was built, four years ago, the wind industry was very strong in the U.S., and it`s not so strong anymore due to natural gas prices and other drilling operations going on,” Tim Allen, president Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce said.
Allen called the legal dispute between GE and Mitsubishi back in December 2009 the real showstopper.
“If it had to play out the way it did, I`m kind of glad it did, because not a single person went home,” Allen said. “We could have had a plant full of people that maybe had been terminated or laid off. That didn`t happen; that was not the case, so if it had to play out, I think it kind of played out maybe in the best scenario.”
“I’m disappointed that it didn`t turn into more jobs for people, but they said they thought they had several businesses that inquired in the past, about purchasing it or leasing it so hopefully that`ll happen,” Raelene Plummer, Fort Smith native said.
“That was a big hit when they didn`t move in,” Stan Logan, resident said.
Those interested in purchasing the property are asked to contact the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce. Mitsubishi hasn't named an asking price yet. Allen said they are forwarding prospective buyers to the company.