County has 82 buildings available for industry

Feb. 21—In September 2017, Bimbo Bakeries USA turned off the ovens in its bakery at 300 E. 24th St., closing the location and laying off 125 workers.

That ended nearly 80 years of bread baking in the 46,000-square-foot building that opened in 1939 as a Honey Krust bakery.

It became Colonial Baking in the 1940s and then, in 1996, Earthgrains.

In 2001, Sara Lee Corp. bought it.

And then in 2011, Sara Lee sold it to Bimbo Bakeries, a Mexican company with bakeries in 22 countries.

In the years that followed, Bimbo closed several of its bakeries.

One of the reasons for the Owensboro closing was the age of the building.

The company's website says, "Newest bakeries incorporate the latest power and energy saving, air emissions and water usage reduction technologies."

And the Owensboro location couldn't do that.

When it closed almost five years ago, many people thought a new company would soon move into the building.

But so far, the old bakery is still closed.

It's assessed for tax purposes at $1.3 million, and the tax bill still goes to Earthgrains Baking Companies in Dallas.

The building is one of 82 that the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. has on its spreadsheet to show to any companies looking for an existing building in Daviess County.

"Some of the buildings are occupied," said Brittaney Johnson, EDC president. "A few companies want at least 50,000 square feet, and that's hard."

Buildings on her list, she said, range from 1,000 square feet to 100,000.

One on Kentronics Drive has 230,000 square feet.

But, Johnson said, "There are several companies in there now, using part of the space."

If a building has a loading dock, she said, the list shows that as well.

LoopNet, a site listing real estate that's for sale, shows two warehouses at 1400 and 1600 W. Seventh St. with a combined 30,000 square feet for sale for $1.3 million.

But few industrial buildings are listed for sale here.

One building that used to be on the list is now completely full.

The old Owensboro G.E. Motors Plant at 3301 Old Hartford Road has 95.92 acres with 427,000 square feet under roof.

It sat empty for more than six years when a company of local investors, Owensboro Warehouse Leasing LLC, bought it in 2017 for $2.750 million.

Jim Estes, representative of the developers, said the building has been turned into an industrial warehouse where space can be increased or contracted depending on the tenant's needs.

And it stays full, he said.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301,