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Hopes fade for fiberboard plant

After Great Lakes MDF in Lackawanna closed earlier this year, a Colorado-based firm that acquired its debt wanted to find a buyer that would revive the fiberboard-making operation.

Those hopes have diminished, so American Acquisition LLC is now talking with parties interested in buying the plant's equipment or the building itself for a different use.

Great Lakes MDF shut down last January. It had about 90 employees at the time of the closing.

American Acquisition said its first preference was a buyer that would resume fiberboard production.

"We literally looked worldwide," said Don Barrickman, vice president. "That would have been the best outcome for us and the best outcome for the local area."

The firm reached out to a number of potential candidates but none of them wanted to buy, Barrickman said. American Acquisition was told that the Lackawanna plant was too far away from its source of wood in Pennsylvania, requiring high freight costs. High lumber costs in that part of the country were cited as another impediment.

As American Acquisition moves on to its secondary strategy of selling off the property, different prospects have emerged. One party is interested in just the building, while another wants to buy only the equipment and then relocate it. Still another party is interested in buying the building and reselling the equipment to a different company.

Hunt Commercial Real Estate is marketing the property at 300 Commerce Drive with an asking price of $7 million. The site consists of 253,000 square feet of space in two buildings on a 30-acre lot.

The plant opened in 2001 and was known as CanFibre until Great Lakes acquired the business in 2003.


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