Former Toshiba plant undergoes major facelift

Sarah Grossman

The plant formerly occupied by MT Picture Display is getting a facelift to make it more attractive to businesses.

The Chemung County Business Center was once home to the largest employer in Chemung County. But in 2004, 800 employees lost their jobs making picture tubes for projection televisions.

Since then, the 860,000-square-foot building has largely been vacant. Eaton Electric Inc. leases about 15 percent of that space, leaving the remainder available for new manufacturing or warehousing, said Mike Manzari, managing director for Pyramid Brokerage, which is marketing the facility.

Silagi Development & Management, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., owns the building and has made a substantial investment in retrofitting.

In August, Edger Construction of Elmira Heights began demolishing mezzanine structures left by MT Picture Display - formerly Toshiba Display Devices - and everything else is getting a fresh coat of paint. The ceilings are now generally 22 feet high.

The Business Center was originally built in 1952 and space was added in 1975 and again in 1997.

Renovations on one section of the building are nearly complete and will be ready in about a week.

“We have some lookers and we are talking to a couple of parties,” Manzari said.

The plan is to divide the facility into sections and lease the space to multiple companies.

Because the building was previously owned for manufacturing, it already has loading docks and access to the Norfolk Southern Rail Line.

However, the facility is particularly enticing to a warehouse and distribution center because of its close proximity to Interstate Highway 86, Manzari said.

“You can fit three A&P plants inside this building,” he said.

Monthly rent will roughly range between $3 to $3.50 per square foot, he said.

There is no indication as to how many jobs could be created if the facility is rented. It depends largely on what types of companies are found. However, the facility has 1,800 parking spaces available.