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Part of former Havre de Grace cleaning products factory razed, property to be sold

Demolition has been completed of oldest part of a former cleaning products manufacturing plant in Havre de Grace. The property, owned by Sherwin-Wiliams, is being put up for sale, a company spokesperson said.
Demolition has been completed of oldest part of a former cleaning products manufacturing plant in Havre de Grace. The property, owned by Sherwin-Wiliams, is being put up for sale, a company spokesperson said. (MATT BUTTON | RECORD STAFF / Baltimore Sun)

A portion of the former Sherwin-Williams Cleaning Solutions Group plant in Havre de Grace has been demolished in preparation for marketing the property to a new tenant, a city planning official said.

The older portion of the 185,000-square-foot complex, on the corner of Old Post Road and Old Bay Lane, was razed, the site cleared and piping removed from the remaining part of the structure, Jay Bautz, Havre de Grace's deputy planning director, said Wednesday.

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"Sherwin-Williams opted to conduct a partial demolition of their Havre de Grace facility...as part of the marketing strategy for cleaning up the site," Bautz explained in an email Wednesday. "What has been removed is the limit of the building demolition; this section was the oldest and its partial wood frame construction was deemed a liability."

Bautz said interior work on the remaining structure has been limited "at this time" to the removal of the piping, which the owner considered outdated and which he also noted has been accumulated on the site for recycling.

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The contractor is TTI Environmental of Moorestown, N.J. Bautz said TTI conducted an environmental assessment of the site, "whereby any hazardous materials were removed prior to building demolition."

"I also conducted a pre-demolition inspection of the site," he said.

Sherwin-Williams plans to sell the property, Mike Conway, a company spokesperson, said Thursday. They do not have a timetable for putting the property on the market, he added.

The nearly 9-acre property has had a number of owners and occupants over the years.

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Sherwin-Williams, the Cleveland-based paints and coatings company, acquired the property in 1996 from Cello Chemical, a manufacturer of professional strength industrial and institutional cleaning products. Cello came to Havre de Grace through its 1978 acquisition of a chemical manufacturer named Fuld-Stalfort, which had been operating on the Old Post Road property for several years.

The 1996 acquisition of the Cello brand was part of Sherwin-Williams diversification into cleaning and other non-coatings products, according to archived news accounts from that period.

According to property tax records, Sherwin-Williams Diversified sold the property in 2006 to Ogden LLC for $1,649,000. Sherwin-Williams Company reacquired it in April 2014 for $3,750,000.

Carroll Company, a Texas-based manufacturer of private branded institutional and cleaning and maintenance chemicals, which now owns the Cello brand, was the last operator of the Havre de Grace plant, according to its website.

Ogden LLC was created by Carroll to own the Havre de Grace property, according to court documents in a federal lawsuit the company brought against Sherwin-Williams over liability for cleaning up contaminated groundwater on the site from when it was owned by Cello. The lawsuit was dismissed in April 2014, according to court records, after the two sides reached a settlement.

Bautz said city records indicate the fire and water lines to the property were shut down in December 2014. "Our review of the facility records seem to indicate [it] was in actual use up to about April 2014," he wrote.

According to the website of the auction firm GA Global Partners, the plant equipment was sold through an online auction in September 2014.

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