What Do You Think an Old Steel Mill Goes For These Days?

It’s official. A special warranty deed has been filed with Putnam County Assessor Tamara Mehalic’s office, transferring ownership of almost all, save a few parcels including one near the riverfront, from ArcelorMittal Co. to IPS Steel LLC of Michigan.

The purchase price recorded on the deed was $13,425,000. The sale occurred Nov. 13.

Kishan Sutariya, project manager of IPS Steel, said, “There aren’t any new developments on our end, at this point. We are very excited with the purchase and very excited to be here in Hennepin. We are here at the mill, every day, working.”

According to the Putnam County Assessor’s Office, the former ArcelorMittal steel plant sat on 857.08 acres of land, which breaks down to 402.43 acres of farmland and 454.65 acres of industrial land.

The property had been assessed at approximately $8.8 million, which gave it an appraised value of $26.4 million. It had been listed for sale on the open market for $25 million.

The property has been assessed at approximately $8.8 million, and at one point was listed for sale at $25 million.

“We have been following the information through the news. Of course we are very concerned regarding any potential impact the sale will have on the district,” said Putnam County Superintendent Jay McCracken. “We look forward to working with local authorities regarding any potential for new jobs.”

Exactly how many jobs IPS Steel will create and precisely how all of the property will be used is not clear. U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, a Peoria Republican whose district used to include Putnam County, stated earlier this month that the property will have an “alternative use.”

“Given the current economic climate, we should all welcome IPS Steel to the region and be thankful for the jobs they plan to create,” Schock said of the purchase.

The steel mill site was chosen by Jones & Laughlin Steel of Pittsburgh in 1965. At the time, J&L Steel announced its intentions to employ 1,000 or more area workers. J&L merged with Republic Steel in 1984 and formed LTV Steel. The plant was intended to finish rolled steel.

The plant was closed in the 1990s by LTV, but was re-opened and continued until December of 2001 when it was closed again. At the time of the 2001 closing it employed 600 workers. The Steelworkers Union held rallies in Hennepin and Washington, D.C., during the early months of 2002 and urged Congress to support American industry. The plant was reopened yet again as ISG in spring 2002.

The ISG time period was marked with layoffs and uncertainty until the business was taken over and began operating as Arcelor Mittal. It operated as Mittal until 2009.

After closing the plant and stopping operations, Mittal began to disassemble the inner workings of the company piece by piece. Equipment was shipped to other facilities, stored off site or scrapped. The only equipment remaining is the large overhead cranes and the maintenance equipment that goes with the cranes. In July 2009 steelworkers and area communities sought government assistance, in vain, to block the stripping of the plant.

The site is attractive due to its location on Interstate 180 near the Illinois River and on the Norfolk Southern Railroad Line.

Source: News Tribune