Harry Barto, president and CEO with Rexam Beverage Can NorthAmerica, said in a Dec. 10 statement that the 30-year-old plant on3400 S. Council Rd. needed to be shuttered because the 12-oz.canmarket is slowing down. "With these moves, we are doing our part inbalancing capacity with demand, further improving our existingoperations," Barto said in the release.

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What wasn't said, however, was what would become of the plant. Aspokesman with Rexam's North American headquarters in Chicago saysa decision hasn't been made about the real estate. "We won't beclosed until some time in the first quarter of 2009," he adds. "Atthat time, we'll do an environmental assessment of the plant andanalyze options."

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The area's industrial brokers aren't too alarmed at the idea ofa vacant canning plant on the city's outskirts, however. "I don'tthink this will be a huge backbreaker on the market," commentsBrent Price, an associate with Sperry Van Ness' Oklahoma Cityoffice. "On the industrial side, overall, we're well-positioned andwill do fine going forward. We're still in single digits when itcomes to vacancies. This won't hit us too hard."

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CB Richard Ellis' vice president John Lenochan is familiar withthe plant and has created a valuation statement for it. He was evenmore positive about the asset's future, citing a vibrant submarketand good demand.

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"The fact is, that plant has a rail-served facility, and there'sbeen some needs in the market for something like that for sometime," says Lenochan, who is with the company's Oklahoma Cityoffice.

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Lenochan tells GlobeSt.com that the facility is a quality one aswell. "I could see some sort of light manufacturing company thatneeds rail service taking it on," he adds. "An owner-user orpotential tenant with those needs would have interest in thisfacility."

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