Coty Plant goes on the auction block Thursday - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

No one bids on Coty Plant, owner working on negotiations

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The plant shut down in May 2011, forcing hundreds of people to lose their jobs. The plant shut down in May 2011, forcing hundreds of people to lose their jobs.

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Coty Plant went on the auction block on Thursday.  Five companies paid a $5,000 deposit to be able to bid on the plant, however when the starting price of $2.5 million was announced, no one placed a bid.

Now the owner of the facility, the group Active International, is working on negotiating a price with the companies that expressed interest.

County leaders and former plant employees say they hope a new tenant moves in soon and helps to bring more jobs and industry into the county.  By the time the gates to the Coty Plant closed for the last time in May 2011, more than 500 employees had lost their jobs.

"Blind sighted you might say," Michael Fouty, who started working on the plant in 2003 and is a security officer for the site now. "We knew it was coming, but at the same time, we didn't know it was coming because we didn't want to accept it."

Even though it's been over a year since the plant closed, he says many former employees still haven't found jobs.

"I was hoping that was going to be the outcome of the auction today," said Fouty. "That one of these employers was going to come in and bring activity into Pender County. County Manager, Mickey Duvall agreed. 

"A lot of people that lost their jobs lived in Pender County - so they started going out of the county to look for work," said Duvall. "Those dollars started going out of the county, we're hoping to bring them back in."

Duvall says he is hoping to reach out to the bidders who do not purchase the property, in hopes of encouraging them to move somewhere else in Pender County.

At last check, there is still no new owner of the old Coty Plant in Pender County.

We're told the owners are negotiating with two interested parties. One group was there during the original auction and paid a $5,000 deposit to be able to bid.

The other group recently expressed interest in the property and made an offer.

It could be a week before a decision is made.

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