SHERIDAN — EMIT Technologies plans to consolidate the company’s several buildings into the more than 93,000-square-foot former Kmart building at 2571 N. Main St., which EMIT purchased last month.
EMIT Technologies manufactures emissions controls for the gas compression industry in the natural gas emissions market.
EMIT Technologies executive director Casey Osborn emphasized the company’s desire to join what is transforming into the manufacturing mecca of North Main Street.
“Our investment won’t end at the building, but to be supportive and continue to participate in the developments of that part of town,” Osborn said. “Our success at EMIT can help in Sheridan’s success.”
EMIT started the process of consolidating its buildings scattered along Heartland Drive and Airfield Lane last year. Osborn said executives looked at constructing a 90,000-square-foot building from scratch. In the process of identifying the company’s best path, they happened upon the empty Kmart building and surrounding acreage, totaling 93,386 square feet, or 6.68 acres.
The warranty deed was processed April 20 with the Sheridan County Clerk and Recorder’s office, with EMIT purchasing the land — under the Seven Pillars Resources limited liability company — from Paul Del Rossi, the managing member of North Fork Partners limited liability company, which was established in September 2017.
Osborn declined to share the purchase price and the process in acquiring the building. The Sheridan County Geographic Information System map listed the 2018 market value at $1,769,865 — $428,500 for the land and $1,341,365 for the building.
“The building physically will work to meet our needs,” Osborn said. “It will allow for some expansion and the overall property.”
Osborn said the acreage gives the company the ability to create more of a campus-type setting while also contributing to the beautification efforts surrounding construction of the North Main Interchange.
“Our goal is to as quickly as possible not know it as the old Kmart building, but as the EMIT building,” Osborn said. “To do that requires us to put a continued investment into making it look good on the outside and not just on the inside.”
Before solidifying renovation plans, though, the city must first approve a rezone from B1, or primarily retail business, to B2, which allows for light manufacturing. The company will go before Sheridan City Council during a study session May 14 and the Sheridan Planning Commission immediately after.
The rezone process includes approval of an ordinance by council, which requires three readings. The first reading for the rezone is tentatively scheduled for the May 21 council meeting, followed by the second and third readings in June.
City of Sheridan community development director Brian Craig said rezone applicants can share as much or as little in intended use, but the city suggests being as descriptive as possible on the application.
“(EMIT has) been very up front with the concept,” Craig said. “They have some plans to really enhance the exterior to make it appealing.”
EMIT is currently working with the city’s public works and parks departments to help create a plan to enhance the area and coincide with the plans associated with the North Main interchange area. Plans so far include EMIT helping finance landscape adjacent to the purchased property and irrigation efforts tied into the current construction rehabilitation. This immediately translates to connection to the city trail system, which EMIT considers an asset for building and recruiting in its line of work.
“To match our efforts with the city’s efforts is hopefully a mutually beneficial thing,” Osborn said.
Craig anticipates the rezone process to go smoothly for EMIT, contrasting from the last rezone application by Jim Bede for the old Highland Park School property on Avon Street.
Craig said the land already residing in the business district makes the transition from a B1 zoning to B2 translate more smoothly than that of the Highland Park rezone attempt, which would have transformed the building into a high-density housing facility right in the middle of a primarily single-family dwelling residential area.
The move will not create new jobs for Sheridan, but instead will consolidate all of EMIT’s manufacturing and administration into one central location. The city requested EMIT to be conscious when moving out of the current buildings and to be good stewards of that land, too. Osborn said EMIT currently doesn’t have plans for the properties once they move out but is open to parties interested in acquiring the buildings.
EMIT Technologies plans to be fully functioning and operating in the new facility by Sept. 1.