Agency mulls deal for shuttered factory

The Frog, Switch & Manufacturing Co. shut down earlier this summer. (photo/submitted)

A subsidiary of the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. is exploring an acquisition of a recently shuttered Carlisle factory.

  • The subsidiary, called the Real Estate Collaborative LLC, has signed a letter of intent to buy the plant formerly operated by The Frog, Switch & Manufacturing Co. at 800 E. High St. in the Cumberland County borough.
  • But first, the collaborative plans to undertake due diligence to determine the feasibility of acquiring, remediating and repositioning the property for potential redevelopment.
  • Given the long history of manufacturing on the 26.71-acre site, it is likely to require some cleanup before it could be reused.
  • If it moves ahead, the collaborative would purchase the land only, not any equipment.

When did the plant close: Frog, Switch announced its decision to shut down last month.

  • The company cited competition and the “prohibitive” capital costs necessary to keep it going.
  • The family-owned company employed 240 people as recently as 2008 but the workforce slowly declined and 30 people worked there by the time it closed.
  • The company started out making steel parts for the railroad industry. But its most recent business was making manganese steel castings for crushing machines used in mining.

What the REC: CAEDC formed the Real Estate Collaborative in 2016 to focus on industrial sites and other properties that would have trouble attracting private developers.

  • Known by its acronym, REC, the organization aims to clean up and prepare the properties for private development.
  • REC has several projects under its belt.
  • In 2017, it bought the former Lemoyne Middle School, which private developers turned into an apartment building called 701 Schoolhouse Flats.
  • The REC also has been involved in the redevelopment of a former Tyco property at 759 N. Hamilton St. in Carlisle.
  • “Much like other REC projects … the Frog, Switch site is the perfect project for REC to rehab and have a public-private partnership for the betterment of Cumberland County,” REC chairman Andrew Notarfrancesco said in a statement.


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