One losing investor has referred to Technimar as "The Titanic. " The
Cohasset-based business filed for bankruptcy last year after Minnesota
investors poured millions of dollars into the project. Some residents hoped the
new owner, Davisco, might still open the plant and provide local jobs making a
synthetic countertop material called "Stonite. " Now, it appears Davisco intends
to remove the Stonite-making equipment and set up shop in a new location. The
decision is the final blow to the town of Cohasset, where residents are stuck
paying off their town's investment in the failed venture.
DAVISCO AQUIRED TECHNIMAR'S STONITE-MAKING equipment for $6.7 million in a bankruptcy auction last month. Negotiations were said to be underway between Davisco, a food-products company based in Le Sueur, Minnesota, and the owners of the plant building to see about keeping the plant in Cohasset. The owner of the plant is Blackwater Properties, a joint venture between Minnesota Power and Mortensen Construction. Minnesota Power says Davisco received "deeply discounted" offers to rent or buy the property. But Blackwater attorney Michael Marguelies says rather than reaching a rental or purchase agreement on the plant, Davisco has instead filed a motion in Itasca County court to gain access to the equipment. Marguelies says in filing the motion, Davisco essentially is seeking to keep its equipment in Cohasset rent-free for the next 90 days while it looks for a new location, possibly closer to its current operations in southern Minnesota.
It's bad news for Dennis Groshens, one of the Technimar employees who has been keeping an eye on the empty plant while legalities were sorted out. Groshens was hired as production manager of the $35 million plant, but financial
"It's a situation where if they had won they'd be heroes. Since they
lost it's going to leave Cohasset and we have no returned revenue, so that's the
bottom of the pit."