Gainesville Ball plant remains open, expected to close in first quarter

Published: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 4:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 4:21 p.m.

Ball Corporation's beverage can lid plant in Gainesville remains open but should close by the end of the first quarter of the year, depending on customer demand, a spokesman says.

The Colorado-based beverage can company announced in August that it would close the Gainesville plant with 127 employees and another lid factory in Columbus, Ohio, with 110 employees, by the end of 2012.

Spokesman Scott McCarty said the Gainesville plant remains open to meet customer needs.

The plants make lids for standard 12-ounce cans, while Ball Corporation is shifting to more specialty cans, such as those of different sizes, with high-end graphics or with special ends such as wider openings, in response to industry demand.

Ball Corporation kept open other plants that make lids for standard-sized cans but is closing Gainesville's plant because it is located farthest from customers.

McCarty said the plant is not at full staff and that some employees are in the process of transferring to other Ball Corporation plants.

Audley Harris, of Coldwell Banker Commercial M.M. Parrish Realtors, is listing the property, which includes an 87,000-square-foot facility on 14 acres in the Northwest Industrial Park just north of the State Road 121-U.S. 441 intersection.

"It's a major attraction for the city of Gainesville to have a nice facility like that available, so we should get some interest from outside the city," he said.

Anheuser-Busch opened the plant as Metal Container Corp. in 1982 and sold it to Ball along with three other plants in 2009.

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