Johns Manville property purchased

Published 12:25 am Friday, September 9, 2016

NATCHEZ — More than 14 years after the Johns Manville roofing plant closed in Natchez, activity may once again be seen on the industrial property along Liberty Road.

An Illinois company bought the property in August with apparent plans to redevelop the property.

Natchez Inc. executive director Chandler Russ confirmed the property had been sold, but said he is bound by a confidentiality agreement that prevents him from discussing specific plans for the 183-acre property.

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A deed filed on Aug. 12 in the Adams County Chancery Clerks office shows the property was sold in early August to MKS One Investments LLC.

The company shares the same address and phone number with Ultra Energy Group in Woodridge, Ill.. Ultra Energy Group’s website says it is a trading corporation focused on the distribution of carbon-based products, including coal, minerals and refined petroleum products.

“We are handling the complete project on behalf of MKS One for Natchez,” Ultra Energy Group President Animesh “Andy” Kumar wrote in an email Thursday.

Kumar did not answer phone calls or e-mail requests for more information about the company or its intention for the property.

Russ said the owner has hired an environmental demolition company to remove most of facility’s main building. He also said the owner has a three- to five-year plan that will include additional investments.

“It is good that the property will be active again and that there are long-term plans for development,” Russ said.

Russ previously said the property had excellent access to gas, water and electricity that makes it attractive to potential industry. The site also has environmentally-restricted areas because of a past wood waste disposal area and pretreatment facility, Russ said.

Johns Manville closed its Natchez plant in 2002. More than 150 people lost their jobs when the roofing plant was shuttered.