rebirth underway at teledyne

Thursday, November 02, 2017 16:25 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Steps are being taken to put back into production an old 500,000 square foot foundry in LaPorte's downtown area.

LaPorte Technologies is the new owner of the former ATI Casting Service facility at 300 Philadelphia St. better known as the Teledyne Industries plant.

The doors have been shut there since July of 2014 but for the past several months work has been ongoing to get the building ready for occupancy.

Joe Walker, former president of ATI Casting Service now with LaPorte Technologies, said the goal is to lease space to multiple industrial users in areas like heavy manufacturing and possibly metal fabricating and welding.

''Our facility is really set up for heavy industry,'' said Walker

Just a few items remain inside the building after much of the equipment was auctioned off a year ago.

Steps are already underway to sell the remaining equipment, repurpose the facility and advertise the space for rent, Walker said.

Teledyne and later ATI Castings made things like locomotive engine blocks and large components for wind and natural gas turbines out of gray and ductile iron.

Walker said the making of those same components at less of a cost in China had a lot to do with the plant's doors here closing.

Over 100 people worked there when the decision was made to close but more than 500 drew paychecks there during its heyday.

The foundry opened in 1934 as Casting Service and in 1967 was bought by Teledyne Industries then more than 30-years later became ATI Casting Service.

Bert Cook, executive director of the Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corporation, said the site operating again would be very important especially with the limited amount of industrial sites available for development in the city.

It would also eliminate a potential highly visible major eyesore given its location along a heavily traveled Indiana 2.

Cook said incentive packages are being developed to assist the new owners with leasing out the space.

''We're excited about helping them trying to make that happen,'' said Cook