RACINE — Jacquet Midwest has canceled its plans for a $12 million, two-phase relocation to the still-vacant Southside Industrial Park.
Jacquet dropped its plan in January to expand into Southside, the former Jacobsen-Textron manufacturing site, and notified city officials the same month, company CEO and Manager Dan Chatterton said. Jacquet was to have become the largest landowner in the industrial park which was finished in 2009.
In July, Mayor Cory Mason and Jacquet officials held a news conference on the grounds of Southside to announce the would-be relocation to the industrial park. Jacquet would have been Southside’s first commercial tenant.
Jacquet (“zha-KAY”) was set to buy a total of about 10.25 acres, including parking, of the park’s approximately 14 acres from the city for $250,000.
The company planned to initially build a 54,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, an investment of $6 million. In addition, Jacquet was to invest close to $2 million in new equipment, most of that in phase one. The company hoped to start preliminary construction activities last September or October and move into its new manufacturing building this year.
Instead, Jacquet decided to go in “another direction,” Chatterton said Thursday. The company will still expand, but it won’t happen at Southside, he said.
“The future’s a little unknown,” Chatterton said. “We will do an expansion at some point.” He said he hopes that expansion will occur somewhere in the Racine area, for the sake of the employees, and he has not ruled out the City of Racine.
City Development Director Amy Connolly said Jacquet was in its due diligence phase when it opted not to proceed. Either party could have canceled the deal at that point, she said.
Jacquet Midwest, a subsidiary of Lyon, France-based Jacquet Metal Service, makes made-to-measure specialty steels such as stainless-steel Quarto plates and nickel alloys, long stainless-steel products, wear-resistant and high-yield steel plates and tool steels. The company currently leases 39,000 square feet of old manufacturing space around the corner from Southside Industrial Park, at 1908 DeKoven Ave.
“Obviously we are disappointed Jacquet walked away from our agreement,” Mason said.
Looking for a new site
Jacquet’s ostensible long-term plan, as of last summer, was for a total of an estimated 109,000 square feet of new manufacturing and inventory space at Southside. The second phase was supposed to include an expansion into high-speed laser cutting, Chatterton said then.
The company, which employed 19 people when the announcement was made, estimated it would add 12 jobs by completion of the second expansion phase.
Jacquet’s purchase of about 10 acres would have left two smaller parcels at Southside, one to the west and one to the south.
“The city cooperated with us at that change of mind, and we appreciate that,” Chatterton said Thursday.
Connolly informed the RDA, which owns Southside Industrial Park, of Jacquet’s reversal at the RDA’s February meeting. According to the minutes of that meeting, Connolly explained that the city received a notice in January that the contract and offer to purchase with Jacquet were canceled.
Connolly also told the RDA that, because of Foxconn, the city may see heightened interest in Southside, and city officials will actively market the site if needed.
The minutes also state that Laura Million of Racine County Economic Development Corp. told the RDA that her organization is working with Jacquet to find a new site in Racine County.