Building tour for prospective buyers

By on June 4, 2014
Up for $ale: The former Four Season's produce plant was tabbed to be a regional rec center before becoming chicken processing plant.

Up for sale: The former Four Season’s produce plant was tabbed to be a regional rec center before becoming chicken processing plant.

Steady rain did not deter about a dozen bidders and residents from touring the jointly owned 1975 N.
Reading Road site on May 16.

Originally the site of Four Seasons Produce until being sold in 2006 for over $3 million to East Cocalico Township, West Cocalico Township, Denver Borough and Adamstown Borough as a future site for community recreation, that dream died when verbal financial commitments were withdrawn with the 2008 recession.

Eight years later, with just necessary work to use the building being done, the 20-plus acre commercial site and building are appraised at just under $2 million.

B. C. Chicken rented the building for packaging chicken until April 2014. East Cocalico Supervisors, custodians of the property, consistently praised the company for being great tenants and doing more maintenance than needed to maintain their operation. East Cocalico Secretary, Noelle Fortna regularly reported good communication and cooperation from the company as she worked with them to resolve issues that arose.

The damp, rainy air on the tour day held the detectable odor of frozen chicken in the large, open areas and loading docks. Interior office areas, which is the side of the building the public views from Route 272, are virtually untouched since 2005, deteriorated and plagued by mold.

“Professional estimates indicate that it will take in the neighborhood of $100,000 to repair the mold in the ceiling,” said Mark Hiester, East Cocalico Manager. “It can’t be scraped to remove it.”

“The good news,” said Hiester, is that there is a letter of environmental clearance that there are no other hazards on site.”

Looking at a steel framed doorway leading from the large, open area, it was evident that the width might be considered narrow by today’s manufacturing standards for maneuvering large tow motors and skids.

While many office area ceiling tiles are missing or damaged, others sagged under the weight of water damage from roof leaks.

Walking through some of the loading docks closest to the office area, roof leaks meant dodging water puddles on the cement floor.

One man touring the facility was heard to say, “I can see how this could have made a great recreation facility. Too bad it didn’t happen.”

What happens next?

Interested buyers must submit sealed bids on or before 4 p.m. on Thurs., June 12. By law a minimum bid cannot be established. That means it’s possible that the high bid could be rejected.

Bids will be opened at a 3 p.m. public meeting on June 13 at East Cocalico Township municipal building.
On June 24 municipal leaders from each municipality who have ownership in the building will meet and discuss if the high bid is acceptable.

The high bid could be awarded or rejected on July 2 at the East Cocalico Supervisors meeting.

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