Former Unilever plant in Southwest Baltimore heading to auction in March

The former site of a Unilever margarine manufacturing plant is heading to auction in March after it was purchased by New Mill Capital for $1.3 million.

Unilever, one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world, closed the plant in May to move its operations to Kansas. The plant is in Southwest Baltimore at 3701 Southwestern Blvd.

Los Angeles-based New Mill Capital will auction off some of the machinery starting March 19 if it cannot find a buyer to take on the entirety of the 152,000-square-foot plant — all equipment included.

Much of the equipment inside the plant was specially made to process margarine and vegetable oil-based spreads, Gregory Schain, a principal at New Mill Capital, said. The company purchased the plant from Unilever in November.

“There’s a lot of good equipment, a lot of infrastructure there that a lot of people can utilize,” he said. “The reality is, margarine is not a growing sector right now, but the equipment in the plant can be used for a variety of things, really any edible oils.”

If there was an interested company, though, Schain said the plant could be “turned on tomorrow.” New Mill Capital specializes in buying closed-down food processing plants and flipping them to other owners.

The company bought a Unilever ice cream plant in Hanover in 2013, and ended up selling that to a local co-op. That plant is now owned by Pinnacle Foods Inc. New Mill also handled the re-sale of a Saputo Cheese plant in Hancock.

Once the auction of the equipment is completed, New Mill Capital will set up another auction to sell just the warehouse.

“The refrigeration, the basic food processing equipment, that will stay,” Schain said.

He expects the auction will generate significant interest because of the location.

“Baltimore is a great market because you can easily distribute to a huge chunk of the U.S. population in a day — and location is everything,” he said.

A complete list of the equipment being auctioned off can be found here.

*Original article can be found at Baltimore Business Journal