A follow-up to a November open house could be in the former Stelrema Building’s future.
The site, located on U.S. 35 North of Knox, has sat empty since 2012. That’s when Stelrema’s parent company Gettig Technologies filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protections.
The site played host to an open house late last year hoping to attract potential buyers or companies looking to occupy the space. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Special Projects Coordinator Ron Gifford there are plans to continue pursuing possible occupants.
“We’ve seen a little bit of interest, but nothing concrete at this point in time,” says Gifford. “So we’re planning a spring open house to hopefully get additional people to look at the building.”
During the open house last year, several interested parties have traveled through according to prior reports. Gifford says they are not aware of a heavily interested suitor at this time.
The building has received an interior facelift, being opened-up into one large and open room. That’s something Gifford says helps the empty facility show well.
With those efforts to ramp-up additional interest in the spring, Gifford says a few strategy adjustments may be in order going into the next open house.
“We’ll start earlier and find other ways to get the word out that the building is available and what it has to offer and where it is, and anything else,” says Gifford. “So we’ll probably do a better job of marketing than what we did for the previous open house.”
Existing buildings have been cited as preferable to companies looking for space to operate. That’s a change from prior years where companies typically preferred to purchase land and construct a new facility.