KBS selling Waterford plant for close to $1 million

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WATERFORD — KBS Builders, a modular home builder based in Paris, is selling off its Waterford plant for close to $1 million.

The Dunham Group in Portland is marketing the 61,850-square-foot manufacturing plant at 947 Waterford Road for $995,000, according to information on the Dunham Group‘s webpage.

A “For Sale” sign has been placed at the site.

It was unclear what effect this sale will have on the operation of KBS Builders or its employees. Efforts to reach KBS officials were unsuccessful Thursday.

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In recent years, the plant has traditionally closed in the winter and laid off from 20 to 60 employees or moved them to the Paris plant. Officials have said in previous years that the lack of commercial building work in Maine and overhead costs in the Waterford facility were the major reasons they shut the plant down each winter.

Established in 2001, the modular home company was formed as KBS Building Systems, offering a diverse line of quality housing, control and design-built commercial and industrial buildings. The main office and factory are in Paris.

In late 2007, KBS Building Systems bought the former Waterford Homes property in Waterford from a Massachusetts company. Waterford Homes, a two-year-old, high-end manufacturer, had defaulted on mortgage and loan payments and closed in 2006.

The Waterford manufacturing plant was reopened early the following year with some 20 new hires, boosting KBS’ production by as much as a third.

In April 2014, KBS Building Systems was bought by a Minnesota-based manufacturer, Aetrium, from Robert Farnum in a deal reportedly worth $10.5 million. Aetrium is part of the semiconductor industry.

The buyer retained the approximately 200 employees and changed the name to KBS Builders Inc.

An auction was later held in March 2016. At the time, Plant Manager Matt Mosher told the Advertiser Democrat that the auction was of excess material that was being “written off” the company books. It could not be used in the company’s construction, Mosher said, because it was a mix and match of items that had been in storage for 14 years. Mosher said at the time that the company had every intention of reopening the plant shortly after that.

The property is assessed at $814,200, according to town records. That includes $50,600 for the land and $763,600 for the building. A tax payment was made last month for a total of $12,416.55 paid in property taxes for this year as of Nov. 27. The taxes are paid through Dec. 31, 2017, according to information from the town clerk’s office.

The steel frame building was built in 1978 with an addition in 1994. It was heated with wood-fired boilers and LP gas heaters in the manufacturing section. About 51,850 square feet of the 60,000-square-foot plant is the warehouse section.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net

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