Henry Repeating Arms has closed on a property sale in the Ladysmith Industrial Park, possibly bringing jobs to the area.

Rusk County had a signed purchase agreement for the building in the city at 800 Gustafson Rd. with an entity affiliated with Henry, according to Rusk County Coordinator Andy Albarado. The building is owned by the county and formerly was home to Conwed and Owens Corning.

Rusk County Coordinator Andy Albarado confirmed the sale has been closed and “things are progressing.”

“We have closed on the sale of the property to Henry, but there are still some final details for the company to work out,” Albarado said.

Company officials have not responded to requests for comment. It was not revealed what is the intent for the site.

Henry Repeating Arms employs over 550 people and operates two manufacturing facilities totaling more than 250,000 square feet. The company headquarters is located in Rice Lake, and a second manufacturing facility is located in Bayonne, N.J.

Henry Repeating Arms is a firearms manufacturing company. As of 2019, Henry Repeating Arms ranked in the top 5 of U.S. long gun manufacturers, and eighth overall in total firearms production, manufacturing over 300,000 firearms annually. The company is the leading lever action manufacturer.

The company manufactures rifles and shotguns. It produces a broad range of lever action rifles in both rimfire and centerfire calibers,

A request for comment to Henry Repeating Arms officials was not returned. A request for comment to city officials was not returned.

It is not clear what use is being considered for the Ladysmith property.

Henry Repeating Arms was started by Louis Imperato and his son Anthony Imperato in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1996. The first model produced was the Henry H001 Lever Action .22 and the first shipments were made in March 1997.

The due diligence period went through the end of August, and officials were anticipating closing at the end of September.

In 2017, the county board voted to buy  out two interests in the property at 800 Gustafson Rd. It paid $874,825 to Landmark North Corporation, which built the plant about 20 years ago using the county and city of Ladysmith for financing. It paid $388,746 to the city of Ladysmith as half-owner of the property. The transaction’s total was $1,263,571. This new debt is projected to add $151,934 in new county debt service and principal each year during the 10 year repayment period. Landmark North Corporation had been making lease payments to the county and city and had an option to buy the property for $1 under terms of the original agreement. Essentially, the county bought out the remaining equitable interests, leaving the county as the sole owner.

In 2017, Owens Corning laid off its entire Ladysmith workforce of 69 employees as it stopped production at its Conwed Wall Technology Eurospan plant and closed the facility permanently. In the past, the 84,000 square foot building and 8.43 acre lot had been listed for sale at $1.5 million on several on-line real estate websites. The building had been in consideration to satisfy the county’s desire to find a new highway shop.

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