As reported on  written by Roni LeForge

HERRIN, Ill. — It’s been twelve years since the former Maytag factory closed, eliminating nearly a thousand jobs in Herrin. Now, city officials are looking forward to new businesses moving into the old factory that has since been renovated.

The north side of the old Maytag factory has been demolished and crews are cleaning up.

“Phoenix Investors felt as though it was more economically viable for them to go ahead and demolish that section of the plant and it would be a lot cheaper than trying to refurbish it,” said Herrin Mayor Steve Frattini.

Mayor Frattini explains an out-of-state company specializing in re-purposing old factories bought the building. They’ve renovated the rest of the building, and plan to do whatever it takes to fill the space, including rebuilding the part that was just torn down.

“As they have demand for that section they will build to suit that tenant,” said Frattini.

Frattini says its a great location for manufacturing companies because of the large space available and the city’s location in the middle of the country. The city has updated its agreement with rail companies to provide services to prospective businesses. Because of that, one business has already made plans to move to Herrin.

“Part of our rail improvements have been predicated on the company coming to town because one of their requirements is rail service,” said Frattini.

Frattini is hopeful the progress will attract even more companies and bring jobs back to the area. He says he’ll be able to announce in a couple of weeks what new business will occupy part of the old Maytag building.