The large, vacant, and in recent years, quiet industrial site at the intersection of Wilco Road and Locust Street will soon be bustling with new life.
A representative from Binswanger and Kidder Mathews announced on Tuesday, May 12, that her company brokered a sale of the former Clayton Homes plant with W.N. Johnson Properties, LLC, working on behalf of Littau Harvester. The sale price was for the 137,150 square-foot site located on 13.12 acres was $2.5 million.
Laurie Goldstein of Binswanger said in a press release that Littau plans to use the facility for assembly of harvester equipment, product storage and distribution. The company will also relocate its trucking operations onto this site.
City of Stayton Finance Director Christine Schaffer noted that Littau already has a presence in the city, on Rogue Ave.; it's the city's understanding that it is expanding its operations. The purchase includes the 102,575 sq. ft. main manufacturing plant, 28,375 sq. ft. of separate facilities, and 6,200 sq. ft. of office space on the 13.12 acres.
Schaffer noted that part of that includes the lot south of the railroad tracks across Locust Street from the main manufacturing area.
"The property is looking great," Schaffer said. "They've had crews in there cleaning it up, which is nice to see."
Clayton Homes closed its Stayton operations in late 2009 when it consolidated operations at its Oregon home-building facilities in Albany.
Littau's twitter biography describes the company as "the world leader in picking systems for blueberries, red raspberries, and many, many more crops."
Stayton City Planner Dan Fleishman said the property is located within the North Santiam Enterprise Zone, which was established by the Stayton City Council in 2010 to foster new investment by manufacturing companies with an aim toward job creation.
"I don't think that the city can take too much credit for participating in the sale of the property," Fleishman said. "However we have been working with Littau Harvester to facilitate their moving in and future investment in the property."
Fleishman said Littau applied for Enterprise Zone benefits that were approved by the city.
"The benefits are that any new investment in the property will be exempt from property taxes for a period of three years, provided that Littau increases their Stayton employment by at least 10 percent," he said.
Littau is the first business to take advantage of the Enterprise Zone since its 2010 establishment.