The plant, which made headlamps for GM cars, opened in 1975 and employed up to 800 workers at its height. GM sold the building to auto and truck lighting supplier Guide Corp. in 1998, who utilized the facility until 2007 when the plant was closed.
James Davison, director of Genesis Energy, Houston, purchased the building in 2008 and later planned to use it to manufacture fuel-efficient vehicles before the prospective company’s federal loan application was denied.
The building is being demolished to make the property more marketable for development, according to reports.
"We think offering a clean site provides the best potential to find a company that will bring jobs to northern Louisiana, which has been my goal since buying the property," Davison tells The News Star.
Mims Recycling, Ruston, Louisiana, is the demolition contractor on the project. According to Greg Mims, owner of Mims Recycling, almost all of the C&D materials will be able to be recycled, including 3,000 tons of steel.
"Everything here is almost 100 percent recyclable from the metal to the concrete," Mims tells The News Star. "Less than 1 percent will go to the landfill.”
Mims hopes that the concrete derived from the project will be used for the building of a new carton plant and logistics center for Atlanta-based Graphic Packaging International, which is taking place nearby.
To help in the demolition efforts, Mims Recycling is relying on local companies to keep revenue in Louisiana.
"We're using JTB Rentals in Calhoun and Auto Shred in Monroe," Mims says. "And even when we have to go outside Ouachita Parish, we're staying in Louisiana with companies like Bottom Line Equipment [in St. Rose, Louisiana]. We're trying to keep all of the money generated here."
The plant’s land, which has been touted by Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson as "one of the best industrial sites available in Louisiana today," has already been cleaned up to make it suitable for industrial reuse.
Mims says he expects to be down to a clean, dirt site within the month, at which time the property will go up for sale.