Robertshaw Chattanooga — formerly Burner Systems International (BSI) — is a longtime Chattanooga manufacturer of parts for gas ovens and grills that told its 134 employees in May it would close its Lookout Valley plant here and ship the jobs to Texas and Mexico.
As the plant winds down operations — it's expected to shut down completely in a couple months — another development has taken place: the property and buildings that housed the plant have been sold.
Robertshaw Chattanooga didn't own the plant at 3600 Cummings Road; it leased it from Dallas-based NL Ventures IX Cummings LLC, which sold it on Dec. 29 for $5.3 million to Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises Investors.
Efforts to ask Lowe Enterprises Investors what's next in store at the plant weren't successful.
Robertshaw Chattanooga had a long-term lease at the building, which is still in effect. A spokesperson for Robertshaw didn't return calls or emails.
Lowe Enterprises Investors was founded in 1972 and is led by co-CEOs Mike and Rob Lowe (not the actor). The company does real estate investment, development and management. It manages 17,000 hotel rooms, its website says, and operates hotel and resort properties around the world through Two Roads Hospitality.
The Lookout Valley plant was built around 1997, according to Hamilton County Assessor of Property records, and has a 122,000-square-foot main building, another 22,000 square feet of outbuildings and stands on about 5 acres.
Burner Systems International got its start in 1960 in Rossville. As recently as 2007, the company had 435 workers here.
The Chattanooga-based BSI was purchased for an undisclosed amount in 2012 by Aterian Investment Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm.
In June of 2016, Robertshaw, a global designer and manufacturer of commercial and residential appliances, purchased Burner Systems International from Aterian for an undisclosed amount.
Robertshaw officials promised then that nothing was going to change except the name on the side of the building. The plant closure was announced less than a year later.
Earlier this month, Robertshaw Chattanooga's parent company, Robertshaw Holdings, was purchased by Rock Capital Partners, a New-York City-based private equity firm.
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at email@example.com or www.facebook.com/Meets ForBusiness or on Twitter @meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.