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Coastal Forest buys Chapman mill for $1.85 million

Coastal Forest Products, LLC has purchased the land and facilities of the former Chapman Forest Products, securing the property for $1.85 million during a public auction held on Wednesday at the Butler County Courthouse.

Chapman Forest Products closed on June 15. Records show Smith Family Companies, owner of Chapman Forest Products, entered into a loan agreement with International Paper on Dec. 31, 2007 for the amount of $9 million to purchase the plant and secured an additional $5 million loan for capital expenditures. That debt was secured by Coastal Plywood Co. on June 8, and subsequently transferred to Coastal Forest Products, a North Carolina company, on July 2, according to courthouse records.

A public notice of foreclosure was printed in The Advocate on July 22, July 29, and Aug. 5.

Officials with Coastal Forest Products said they have not made a decision yet on their plans for the property.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said he learned “a long time ago” that you don’t speculate on what an industry or company will do.

“I will say that I have met with the people of Coastal Forest Products and they are good people,” he said. “Coastal is an excellent, excellent company. We do hope in the future that their decision is to re-open the mill, but right now we just don’t know.”

The closure of the Chapman mill left over 200 people without a job.