Long-vacant Genzyme building bought by Fall River manufacturer Klear Vu Corp.
Jack Foley|Herald News
The ghost image of the Genzyme sign is still visible on the building.
A long-time city manufacturer of chair pads and rocking chair sets has bought the sprawling Genzyme building that’s been vacant in the Fall River Industrial Park for roughly a decade.
Klear Vu Corporation bought the building for $1.75 million on July 31, according to the Fall River Registry of Deeds records and confirmed by the company.
Klear Vu plans to expand and move from its quarters in the Flint area since the 1960s, located next to the Fall River Knitting Mill at 135 Alden St., to the single-story, 170,000-square-foot Genzyme building, on 13.4 acres at 600 Airport Road.
“As the retail climate continues to change, so must we. As manufacturers, we need to be nimble to stay successful,” said Bob Cooper, Klear Vu president.
Cooper, in a statement, said their company needs to keep up with global competition and plans to expand.
“Our new factory offers efficiencies that will streamline our manufacturing and prepare Klear Vu for the future.”
The company employs about 100 people, according to a report.
Cooper could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
“I think they’re planning on being in there in the next few months,” said Kenneth Fiola, executive vice president of the Fall River Office of Economic Development. He said shifting from a large mill building to the single-story manufacturing plant was a factor.
He concurred with accounts that said Genzyme, a manufacturing leader of surgical products with about 500 employees here in 1998, left Fall River around 2004. The building, in a key portion of the industrial park, has been vacant and for sale since.
Fiola said the sale price has fluctuated, and had been more than $3 million.
A French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, bought Genzyme, Fiola said.
“I think it’s great that you have a local company that’s expanding and decided to remain in Fall River,” Fiola said, praising Klear Vu. “They’re one of those quiet businesses that continued to move forward.”
Fiola also said filling a large, strategically located building in the park will be an economic boost.
Mayor Will Flanagan concurred. “The closing of Genzyme still has detrimental effect on our city a decade later, after moving its production out of the United States,” Flanagan said.
He said he speaks with former Genzyme workers who’ve faced hardships after losing their jobs.
Flanagan said the city had several prospective companies look at the property and building, which reportedly has remained in good shape.
“It’s a step in the right direction for our economy,” Flanagan said.
He said among Klear Vu’s customers is Target.
The Airport Road property is assessed at $8,433,400, more than $6 million for the building, which was built in 1978. An addition was built a decade later.