Former Propex building not to be purchased by IDA

Published 6:19 pm Friday, April 10, 2015

The Industrial Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County will not buy the building currently occupied by Meredian Holdings Group (MHG), formerly occupied by Propex.

At the March 19 IDA meeting, the board voted to pursue the purchase of the building and subsequently lease the building to MHG. However, the financing for any such purchase by the IDA must by guaranteed by another government entity. Both the Decatur County Board of Commissioners and the City of Bainbridge declined to participate in the purchase.

“The county basically indicated they had too much on their plate currently and could not participate,” said IDA Executive Director Rick McCaskill. “The city, because of their involvement in the purchase of the old Traco building for Bainbridge Manufacturing, felt the county should be the one involved.”

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Amkin Bainbridge, LLC, a Miami-based company controlled by Ramon Llorens, an investor in MHG, currently owns the building. Amkin Bainbridge is leasing the building to MHG.

“With where the county is currently, just trying to get ourselves back to solid financial footing, we didn’t feel this was the thing to do,” said Dennis Brinson, Decatur County Commission Chairman. “We are still trying to determine what kinds of costs we will have with the implantation of the Service Delivery Strategy and have to be careful what we put our name on.”

Commission Vice-Chairman Pete Stephens echoed Brinson’s thoughts, “With all the county has going on, we can’t afford, financially or emotionally, to take on any more problems that might curtail the progress we have made or need to make.”

MHG asked the IDA to purchase the building and then lease it back to the company, essentially acting as a “pass through” financing vehicle, so that other company resources would be freed to purchase needed equipment and improvements to the building.

The facility includes a million square feet on 100 acres located in the Decatur County Industrial Park.

The asking price for the building was $3.68 million.