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Former World Kitchen building sold

December 30, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The former World Kitchen plant outside Martinsburg has been sold to a Virginia company, which is expected to divide the building and lease portions out to several tenants, development officials said.

A 427,000-square-foot building on 76 acres, the plant opened in 1960 as Corning Glass Works and was later renamed World Kitchen Inc., said Bob Crawford, executive director of the Berkeley County Development Authority.

The Winchester-based Shockey Cos. finalized the sale on Dec. 22, said Jeff Boehm, director of marketing. He declined to say how much the company paid for the plant.

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Boehm said he hopes the plant can be divided between warehouse and manufacturing companies. Office space also is available and the building could be expanded or additions could be built, he said. Renovations will begin immediately, as will a search for tenants, Boehm said.

Crawford said the development authority will work to market the property to possible tenants, including companies that want to move into an existing building.

"Having that type of space available should bode good things for the community," he said.

Both Crawford and Shockey officials said that despite the building's former use as a glass manufacturing plant, it obtained a clean slate from environmental officials.

"I'm so grateful to World Kitchen for setting aside the dollars to dismantle the furnace and other equipment and the clean-up of the building, broom-wise and environmental-wise," Crawford said.

The Shockey Cos. - including Berkeley Business Park Associates LC, the subsidiary that owns the former World Kitchen plant - are a consortium of construction companies providing real estate development, construction, precast concrete and ready-mixed concrete to the mid-Atlantic region, Shockey officials said.

As a general contracting company, Shockey built the General Motors and Ecolab plants in Martinsburg.

World Kitchen closed in March 2002.

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