Manitowoc Food Service announced in August that they would cease manufacturing and cut the workforce nearly in half by the first of the year at its Sellersburg location, Manitowoc Beverage System, Inc., at 2100 Future Drive. The company will relocate manufacturing to Mexico, laying off 84 employees. 

CLARKSVILLE — An Evansville business has bought the former Manitowoc Beverage Systems, Inc., plant in Clarksville with plans to lease part of it out to another manufacturer.

Rexing Land, LLC, which also owns a cooler and freezer storage building in Evansville, bought the Manitowoc building at 2100 Future Drive, for $4.8 million in June from the beverage systems manufacturer.

Manitowoc Foodservice, Manitowoc Beverage Systems' parent company, announced in August of last year that it would be closing down the industrial part of its Clarksville operations, letting 84 employees go, but retaining some of its office workers.

Manitowoc’s office operations will stay in the Future Drive building, but Dylan Rexing, part-owner of Rexing Land, said that he is searching for a manufacturing tenant doing “similar types of things” as Manitowoc to fill the rest of the building. He wants one “as soon as possible.”

“I bought [the building] to see wealth for us, and hopefully get somebody in there that can refill … the job assets that used to be there,” he said.

The Manitowoc plant lies just outside of Sellersburg's boundaries. 

Paul Rhodes, president of Sellersburg’s town council, said that it has been hard to quantify how the closing of Manitowoc’s plant has affected the town — especially because many employees lived outside of Sellersburg — but that it would be "great" to have another business fill the building.

“Anytime you can bring jobs to the area, it’s a positive thing for us,” he said.

The building is 147,000-square feet total, and about 30,000-square feet of space will be leased to Manitowoc.

The family-owned Rexing Land plans to make some “small changes” to the plant in advance of leasing it to a manufacturer.

The former Manitowoc building grabbed Rexing's interest because of its proximity to Evansville and outer appearance, which Rexing said he liked.

The building's location also held an appeal: It's located right off of the highway in an industrial market that Rexing described as one of the best in the nation.

Louisville was rated as the top city for manufacturing job growth by earlier this summer. Manufacturing is also the top private job area in terms of number of positions in Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott and Washington counties.

Danielle Grady, a Southern Indiana native and a 2016 Ball State University graduate, is the business and economic development reporter for The News and Tribune. Basically, she writes about your favorite restaurants. Send story tips via email or twitter.