Hillyard Industries hopes to demolish about 15 buildings of the Wire Rope Complex Downtown St Joseph MO.

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Hillyard Industries remains on track with plans to redevelop the former WireCo WorldGroup space Downtown into a new manufacturing and distribution complex. The company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of janitorial products, sanitary supplies and equipment in an area of Downtown bordering on the original WireCo campus. Two years ago, Hillyard purchased the 25-acre property, which was vacated by WireCo before the end of 2017.
“They had a lot of equipment down there and it had to be moved,” said Hillyard President Jim Carolus. A WireCo fabrication building that still provides jobs for 19 of its employees was not included in the sale. Demolition of about 15 buildings still will occur to make way for the new construction. A contractor has yet to be hired. “None of the buildings are usable,” said Carolus. “We hope to at least be starting” on the demolition sometime later this year, he added. “That’s our hope.”
Hillyard is working with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and has entered into the agency’s Voluntary Cleanup Program to address any potential contamination of the property. The company said any known contamination will be addressed, leading to approval of the site for appropriate reuse. A contractor already has begun work to spruce up areas outside the buildings.
The design phase continues on the project, with efficiency a major emphasis. Construction is tentatively scheduled for 2019 and 2020, with a goal of the new operations commencing in either 2021 or 2022. Carolus said the endeavor represents the company’s long-term commitment to St. Joseph. State, county and city governments all have given their support.
A team of Hillyard officials, comprised of Blake Roth, Carolus and his son, Brett, has been tasked with creating the design. Consultant Doug Richmond, who works out of the North Kansas City area, has been hired as the project’s engineer. The disposition of Hillyard’s buildings, which include its administrative headquarters, is also on the agenda. Total costs have yet to be estimated. “We’re not even sure what buildings we want to vacate,” said Carolus. “It’s possible it could be built in phases,” he said of the new campus. It’s unclear whether the work will produce new jobs. Hillyard currently has about 190 employees.

Ray Scherer can be reached at ray.scherer@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPScherer.

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