December 2, 2021

Former Apex factory demolished

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

An excavator removes debris Tuesday at the site of the former Apex Tool Group facility off River, Cleveland and East Garfield streets in Cortland. Demolition is underway of the buildings after the property was recently purchased.

Against the background of buildings cut open, a lone excavator carried debris Tuesday at the site of the former Apex Tool Group facility between Cleveland, River and East Garfield streets in Cortland.

Demolition of the facility is underway after the property was purchased in the last few weeks by Complete Property Services, LLC, Garry VanGorder, the executive director and CEO of the Cortland County Business Development Corp. and Cortland County Industrial Development Agency, said Tuesday.

Complete Property Services, LLC, headquartered in New Kingstown, Pennsylvania, provides commercial and residential property services including demolition, grading, excavation and lawncare, according to the company’s website.

Some preliminary environmental work had taken place but more in-depth analysis would be needed before further decisions were made about what would happen after demolition, VanGorder said.

“The IDA will work with the owner as needed to identify potential re-use, but I don’t believe there are any specific plans at the moment,” he said.

A representative from Complete Property Services, LLC could not be reached for comment.

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

A side of an Apex Tool Group building is torn away during demolition.

The facility has a gross size of 171,883 square feet on nearly 8 acres, according to Cortland County Real Property Tax Services. Built in 1974, it has an assessed value of $1,378,200.

The facility has been closed for almost six years following Apex Tool Group’s decision to close and consolidate with other facilities in Pennsylvania and South Carolina at the end of 2015.

Prior to closing, the facility employed 110 people, who made components like wire rope, chain fittings and overhead lifting devices.

A California-based investment firm, Abacus Financial, purchased the site in 2019, though further details could not be obtained.

The history of businesses at the site date back to 1834, starting with the Henry B. Brewer Co. which manufactured harnesses. That company became the Cortland Carriage Goods Co., Inc., in 1897, and was later consolidated in 1917 as the Brewer-Titchener Corp. In the mid-1980s the company was purchased by Cooper Tools. In 2012 it became part of Eaton Global Corp. and was sold to Bain Capital in October 2012 for about $1.6 billion.