New manufacturer in Knox lands redevelopment grant

Modern Living Solutions’ plan to bring 50 to 130 new manufacturing jobs to Knox received a major boost last week with a $2 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant.

According to the RACP grant application, Modern Living Solutions, under the umbrella of Greystar, “will renovate the former Knox Glass Bottle Company plant in the Borough of Knox into a state-of-the-art modular apartment factory producing 3D volumetric apartment units.”

The manufacturer’s plan is to build a line of bathroom pods at the former Glass Bottle Co. plant.

The $2 million in RACP funds will be used for renovation of the existing plant building and construction of a new light industrial building at the project site. Greystar had applied for $5 million under the program.

Clarion Industrial Realty recently sold the property to Fort Knox LLC, another company under the Greystar umbrella, for $2.5 million.

“We are honored to receive the $2 million RACP grant as the funds will further enhance our ability to reinvest both into the existing asset and our operations in Knox,” Modern Living Solutions Managing Director Andy Mest said.

“With the large number of applicants this year for the RACP grant, I think we were able to best prove the fundamental importance of our investment and the impact Modern Living Solutions will have on the Borough of Knox and the surrounding communities in Clarion County.”

Clarion County Commissioner Ted Tharan said, “This has all been in the works for a while, and now to see it all come together is great news for Knox and Clarion County.”

Tharan credited Gene Burns, of Clarion Industrial Realty, for bringing Modern Living Solutions to Knox.

“I imagine he had that site listed all over the country,” Tharan said. “We all met over there (Knox) back in January or February, and Andy Mest – he’s a western Pennsylvania guy – looked at the site and we started talking, but then COVID hit and everything was on hold for a while.”

Tharan said the new manufacturing facility should help boost the economic fortunes of the county and that Modern Living Solutions will “be a good neighbor. I think it’s going to be a very good thing for the community.”

Clarion County Commissioner Ed Heasley said new jobs are “the bottom line.”

Mest thanked Gov. Tom Wolf, state Sen. Scott Hutchinson and state Rep. Donna Oberlander for “steadfast support” of the project and their “commitment to economic development and good-paying jobs through investment in the Knox community.”

Mest said U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson’s “engagement and support” helped, as well.