New owners plan to redevelop Columbus Castings

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The new owners of the Columbus Castings foundry on Parsons Ave. say they plan to remediate and redevelop the property for an unspecified mixed-use.

Reich Brothers was the winning bidder in a bankruptcy auction last week for the property with a bid of cash and consideration of more than $30 million.

By May of this year, nearly all of the 800 workers at the foundry had been let go and the parent company, Constellation Enterprises prepared to file for bankruptcy.

In a company press release, Reich Brothers’ Co-CEO Jonathan Reich said the company “is looking forward to repositioning the facility, envisioning an environmentally clean mixed-use redevelopment, taking into consideration the desires and need of the community as well as our investors.”

“Ever mindful of the impact of the closing of the foundry, the company intends to employ a number of people at the facility to help effectuate a smooth transition. In addition, Reich Brothers, in conjunction with local partners, intends on holding a job fair to help provide for individuals that will be displaced as a result of the plant closure.”
Former third shift supervisor Jack Dials told NBC4 he and his former do-workers had been holding on to a thread of hope that a new owner would reopen the foundry. “I am somewhat angry and the reason is we feel, we really feel that there’s money to be made at that plant,” Dials said.

Dials,59, says he’ll find another job and move on but he will always feel a connection to the 110 year old foundry.

JIm Hildenbrand sells real estate on the south side and has lived in the area for 63 years. He says this final chapter in the foundry’s history will record a tremendous financial and human loss. “There are 800 people out of a job,” Hildenbrand said. “It’s not only the south side because a lot of these people working down here lived in the suburbs and so forth. The tax money alone for the city of Columbus, the city income tax I think it was something like $700 thousand.”

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