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Owners of former Brown and Williamson plant discuss plans for property

The vacant building that once housed Macon's largest employer, Brown and Williamson plant, has been sold to a Los Angeles investment firm and they have big plans for it. The Industrial Realty Group bought the property. They hope to give it some upgrades and move a few businesses inside, according to the company's president, Stuart Lichter. At its peak in the late 1990s, the Brown and Williamson plant made 130 billion cigarettes a year and employed 3,000 people. It closed in 2006 when Brown and Williamson consolidated its operations in North Carolina. The plant sat vacant for 15 years. Lichter says his company focuses on readapting industrial properties and "moving them to the market." According to the group's website, IRG works to solve some of the country’s "most difficult real estate challenges." In this case, Lichter says the building sat vacant because the previous owner did not invest capital. He says IRG alone plans to invest $20 to $30 million into the property.

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