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March 28, 2019

North Philly's historic Budd Company plant sold to New York developers

More than a decade ago, Donald Trump and Pat Croce had proposed building a casino on a portion of the property

Development Factories
Budd Companies Main Source/Colliers International

Budd Companies main plant at 2450 Hunting Park Avenue.

The abandoned home of the former Budd Company, one of Philadelphia's foremost industrial giants, has been sold to a New York private equity and development firm.

Six buildings, including the main plant at 2450 Hunting Park Ave., were purchased by Plymouth Group from Colliers International, in conjunction with Max Spann Auctioneers, the companies said. The properties cover 1,871,911 square feet on 25.29 acres and sold for a price of $6.5 million.

Five Budd Buildings PhiladelphiaSource/Colliers International

Five buildings purchased by New York-based Plymouth Group.

Led by Edward Gowen Budd, the Budd Company emerged in the 1920's as a force in metal fabrication and automotive manufacturing, scoring early contracts with General Motors, Ford, Buick and Dodge.

At its height, the company eventually grew to more than 20,000 employees. As the U.S. auto industry felt the pinch of foreign imports, the Budd Company pivoted to the railcar and aeronautics industries.

By 1993, Budd's North Philadelphia plant had dwindled to 1,800 employees. It was closed in 2003 to be consolidated with the company's plant in Detroit and has remained empty ever since.

In 2005, now President Donald Trump was one of several celebrities, including former Sixers owner Pat Croce and Boyz II Men member Nathan Morris, who made a pitch to turn the plant into a casino

“A massive site that has sat vacant for over a decade now has potential for transformation and should now provide opportunity and employment for the neighborhood and area as a whole," said Rich Weitzman, a senior vice president with Colliers International who facilitated the transaction.

Future plans for the site are expected to include commercial and industrial repurposing, as well as potential institutional, educational and residential components.