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FORREST CITY, AR-The Amherst, NY-based Columbus McKinnon has shed a 37-acre manufacturing site after four years of trying. The shuttered 256,700-sf plant has passed to a local businessman for $1.8 million, who’s now gaming out a higher use for the land.

James Lindsey, owner of Lindsey Cotton Manufacturing LLC, made the close after the acreage was divvied into “Brownfield” and “Greenfield” tracts, according to Kipp Collins, vice president in Dallas for the Philadelphia-based Binswanger. He tells GlobeSt.com that the shuttered factory at 3105 N. Washington St. will be used to store cotton and roughly 17 acres with significant frontage along Interstate 40 are earmarked for commercial development. He says Lindsey is weighing a plan to flip part of the commercial land, which is under review for hotel and retail development.

Collins says Lindsey’s all-cash offer was the highest on the table out of several bids placed during the four months that Binswanger had control of the listing. He credits Lindsey with the idea to legally subdivide the acreage. “It just gives him an added option,” Collins says.

Forrest City, like many other Arkansas towns, is catching investors’ eyes for a heartland America positioning and a redevelopment need due to job losses in the manufacturing sector. Out-of-state investors are zeroing in on Northwest Arkansas, but it doesn’t appear that other areas like Forrest City will be left behind in the development push. Forrest City’s I-40 location makes it a through-way to the West Coast while its proximity to Interstate 30 puts it within easy reach of Memphis and Dallas. The Binswanger team has seven other industrial sites on the market in the state.

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