ACF property on the market

The former ACF Industries property is currently on the market, being listed as for sale by Binswanger, a Philadelphia company.

MILTON — The 46-acre former ACF Industries property in Milton is on the market, listed as being for sale by a Philadelphia-based global property firm.

Representatives from Binswanger did not immediately return The Standard-Journal’s request for comment on its listing of the site.

A sale price is not listed. However, the Binswanger website features a brochure highlighting features of the property.

According to the brochure, the total assessed value of the property is $491,550. The land assessment is listed at $326,530, while the improvements assessment is listed at $165,020. Property taxes for 2020 were estimated at $58,752.

The brochure notes the facility contains 8.1 miles of rail.

“The Norfolk Southern Buffalo Line gives the property the ability to load and unload materials right onto the track,” the brochure said.

Eight buildings are included on the property, according to the brochure.

Those buildings include: A 50,400-square-foot facility, with 40-foot-high ceilings and 12 grade-level doors; a 15,300-square-foot former schoolhouse; a 59,200-square-foot facility, with seven grade-level doors and one 5-ton crane; a 14,500-square-foot building, with four grade-level doors; an 8,400-square-foot building, with a 27’-high ceiling and two grade-level doors; a 74,311-square-foot facility, with 30-foot-foot high ceilings and 20 grade-level doors; a utility building; a 114,274-square-foot building, with 30-foot-high ceilings and four 25-ton cranes; and a 35,780-square-foot building.

The Improved Milton Experience (TIME) previously expressed an interest in acquiring the former schoolhouse building.

TIME Executive Director George Venios said his organization has had no further communications with ACF officials regarding the building. He also had no updates on the status of the property.

The Milton Fire Department was called to the property Tuesday, April 6, after Chief Scott Derr said a building on site was charged with electricity when a forklift hit an electrical panel, pulling it off of the wall.

There were no injuries. Derr said firefighters secured the building until PPL Electric Utilities arrived.

While Derr had no information on the status of the building, he said the fire department was told scrapping would be taking place at the facility “until they get a signed sales agreement.”

In May 2020, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Environmental Community Relations Specialist Megan Lehman reported the organization’s Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields Program involvement with ACF Industries “due to a petroleum release from a storage tank onsite.

“Some floating product remains on the groundwater at the site, but does not appear to be mitigating,” Lehman said, at that time. “The floating product is being monitored quarterly and collected by absorbents.”

On Wednesday, Lehman said the property owner “completed the closure of the remaining regulated above-ground storage tanks” at the facility.

“ACF has conducted ongoing groundwater monitoring and provided results to DEP for more than a decade and will continue to monitor groundwater contamination at this site,” Lehman said.

The ACF property has been largely vacant since the end of 2019.

The Standard-Journal in November 2019 reported speaking to two ACF employees who confirmed receiving a letter from the company outlining the plant’s then-pending December 2019 closure.

Officials from the ACF Industries plant in Milton and at the corporate headquarters in St. Charles, Mo., have not responded to The Standard-Journal’s multiple requests for comment since that time.

Multiple items from the facility were sold in an online auction, conducted in the summer of 2020.

ACF had a major cutback in 2009, when the company laid off most of its then 300 workers in Milton.

Union officials confirmed in 2012 that an agreement had been reached for the plant to resume operations in 2013. ACF officials said at that time that over 300 employees would be called back to work at the facility.

Former Gov. Tom Corbett visited Milton in June 2013 to announce that ACF received $483,000 in state funding from the Governor’s Action Team. The funds were to be used for machinery and equipment purchases, as well as employee training.

ACF Industries has roots in Milton dating back to 1864, when it was founded as Milton Car Works and owned by Murray, Dougal and Company.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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