MDA accepts offers on two properties; rifle company to move to McClellan (updated)
by Laura Camper
lcamper@annistonstar.com
Oct 24, 2012 | 7565 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There has been an increase in the number of people looking at properties at McClellan, according to the McClellan Development Authority, with the result being two sales totalling $450,000 the authority board approved Wednesday.

Creedmoor Sports, a California-based air rifle dealer and accessories manufacturer, and the MDA, the group charged with developing the former Army post, have worked out a deal for the former Class Six store near the McClellan Medical Mall.

The building, which once was the base liquor store, has a truck docking area, a warehouse and a retail area that make it a good fit for Creedmoor’s needs, said MDA executive director Robin Scott.

“They plan to use it to do retail sale and manufacturing,” Scott said. “They specialize in air rifles and shooting accessories.”

Creedmoor made an offer of $250,000 for the building and 3.5 acres of land, said board attorney Jason Odom.

Creedmoor Sports President Greg Kantorovich said a move to a more central location in the country is something the company has been looking to do for a long time. It has a business relationship with the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a nonprofit firearms education organization which has a shooting range and store in Anniston. That relationship is what first enticed the company to look in Anniston. Creedmoor partners with the CMP on two shooting competitions each year and its rifles are used in the competitions, Kantorovich said.

“CMP,” Kantorovich said. “That’s what started it.”

But the location, close to its customer base in the Midwest, South and East Coast, and the business-friendly atmosphere are what convinced the company that McClellan was the place to relocate, he said.

The company, which has been in business 33 years, currently employs 10 people, Kantorovich said. Three of them will move to the area with the company. The company will hire the other seven locally, he said.

In addition, the company plans to add a national gunsmithing center to its manufacture of nylon shooting accessories such as hats and coats. So, eventually the company hopes to add another six to 10 jobs over the next 24 months, Kantorovich said, adding that’s a “shoot-from-the-hip number” and depends on how quickly the expansion goes.

The sale should close in the next three months, Scott said.

The building does need some renovation, he said, and the company hopes to make the move in the spring.

“Our plan is to be in by March 1,” Kantorovich said.

In other business Wednesday, the board also approved the sale of two-story apartments near Casey Estates to Diversified Real Estate Services for $200,000, a full-price offer. The company has already committed to buying property in Buckner Circle and the Mid-Rise Apartments to build independent living and assisted living facilities. The apartments will house the work force for those facilities, Scott said.

The real estate company is working on its master plan for the historic properties in hopes of getting historic preservation tax credits for the project, which has been a very slow process, said Odom.

It has paid $60,000 into a non-refundable escrow account for the purchase of the historic properties, Odom added. All three of the Diversified Real Estate purchases should close at the same time.

The most recent purchase is for one of the properties the board recently re-priced. In July, the board approved some lower prices for properties to bring the prices more in line with the offers the authority was receiving.

“It reflects more of what the value of the properties are in these economic times,” said board member Ronnie Smith.

The sales bring an extra $450,000 to the authority to use for further development of the former military property.

Scott declined to comment on whether there were more to come, but he did say the authority was receiving an increase in inquiries.

He’s not sure if that is an indication of an improving economy, the result of the board’s recent approval to lower the prices of some of its properties, or some other reason. The people looking are seeking information on both re-priced properties and those that haven’t had a price change, Scott said.

“All the signs are pointing in the right direction,” Scott said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.

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