Illinois Company buys Cooper Tire facility

Hilco Real Estate Company purchases Cooper Tire facility. / Jessica Fairley

The old Cooper Tire and Rubber facility has been purchased by a real estate company based out of Northbrook, Illinois.

Hilco Real Estate LLC purchased the land for $8.5 million and while Cooper Tire will remain a part of the building, the company plans to make some changes.

Howard Seamon worked for the tire and rubber company for over 20 years and although it's been two years after its closing, he says the pain of job loss still lingers over Albany.

"It was a hard time for everybody," said mechanic Howard Seamon.

The building where he made his livelihood now stands as a stockyard, holding tires from the old plant.

Although the purchase by Hilco Real Estate won't bring back what's been lost, the new owner hopes the changes prove positive for the facility.

"A portion of the facility that we deem not functional will likely be deconstructed and prepared for redevelopment," said Hilco Real Estate Executive Vice President Richard Kaye.

The Illinois based company states on its website, "Hilco Real Estate, LLC helps business improve leverage and cash flow by repositioning and restructuring their real estate commitment."

Once the repositioning and redevelopment phase has been completed, the company will put space out on the market for one or more tenants to rent. Hilco representatives say at this point the facility could serve several uses.

"It could be redeveloped for industrial use. It could be redeveloped for commercial or retail use. There are many options but no decision at this point has been made. Our objective is to make the best decision that would add the best value to the property and the surrounding community," said Richard Kaye.

It's something locals are also wishing for. Alan Williams worked for Cooper Tire for more than 15 years and was one of the last employees let go.

Now that another company is involved, he's praying for a boost in the local economy.

"I hope that someone will come in and get the plant and bring more jobs to this area," said ex-employee of Cooper Tire Alan Williams.