Narmco Group In Process Of Purchasing Former Rigid Building Systems Facility

Mayor Sherman Guyton on Tuesday announced that The Narmco Group in Windsor, Ontario, and its subsidiaries Prince Metal Stamping and Rodfam Alabama LLC are in the process of purchasing the former Rigid Building Systems facility.

“They will be investing more than $18 million (including $2.925 million for the facility), and initially employ 20 at wages averaging $30,000 per year,” Guyton said during the Gadsden City Council’s work session. “Their acquisition of this 240,000-square-foot building gives them plenty of room to grow here and continue to employ our residents.”

The property has been vacant since Rigid quit production in June 2009. The council approved tax abatements, which do not include education property taxes, for Prince Metal Stamping, which already has two plants here, and Rodfam Alabama, the legal entity that will hold title to the building.

The Gadsden Industrial Development Board on Tuesday afternoon approved the sale of the property, which is located in the Gadsden Airport Industrial Park. City Attorney Roger Kirby said the board owns the property because it issued industrial revenue bonds for the building and equipment.

“The IDB is presently the legal owner of the property pursuant to a bond issue by Rigid Building Systems,” Kirby said. “Narmco and its subsidiaries Prince Metal Stamping and Rodfam propose to purchase the property from CitiFinancial, which holds the mortgage, and Citibank, which is the trustee of the bonds. When the transaction is closed, the bonds will be paid off, and the IDB will not be involved in the project.”

Kirby said the closing on the sale should be held within a week.

Gadsden Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Mike McCain recently said an attempt by another prospect last year to purchase the building was unsuccessful. Since then, the equipment has been auctioned off and the price was lowered.

Prince Metal Stamping, which was founded in 2004, provides stamping and assemblies to the Southern United States automotive region.

“Narmco has been welcomed with open arms since our initial investment seven years ago, and we look forward to fostering a positive business growth and progress here,” said Don Rodzik Jr., Narmco’s corporate manager, in a letter to the city of Gadsden.

Rigid Building Systems, which manufactured pre-engineered metal buildings, opened here in April 2007. The opening was delayed by more than a year because of site preparation problems. The city of Gadsden spent about $1.8 million — much more than had been expected — to remove soil that had to be replaced before the building and parking lot could be constructed.

The company employed as many as 200 at one time and employed about 70 when it announced in April 2009 it would cease production that June.

By Antrenise Cole
Times Staff Writer