CHERRY — The long-vacant site of a former pottery in Hancock County will soon have a new tenant following years of renovation and marketing efforts.
Heavy Iron Oilfield Services, LP will transfer its operations from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania to Chester’s Rock Springs Business Park, the former location of Taylor, Smith & Taylor Pottery. The relocation entails a long-term contract with the property owner, Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle.
Friday afternoon, Marvin Six, executive director of the BDC, revealed, “We have a prospective tenant going in.”
Six respondents said that the new tenant will bring 75 jobs with them as part of the move, with plans to add an additional 25 positions.
According to the BDC’s release, Heavy Iron offers well-testing and frac flowback services to the oil and gas sector, with a particular emphasis on the eastern United States.
Since 2011, the business has mostly focused its efforts on the Marcellus and Utica basins.
The company’s president, John Van Slyke, remarked, “We are happy to be relocating to Chester.” The facility is important to our operations and allows for expansion as Heavy Iron continues to experience extraordinary growth.
Van Slyke was born in Canada, attended college in Missouri, moved to Pittsburgh in 2010, and founded his firm the following year. He was naturalized as an American citizen on Wednesday.
From 1900 through 1981, Taylor, Smith, and Taylor ran pottery in Chester, producing tableware, hotel ware, toilet sets, and specialized items.
The factory was abandoned for thirty years before the BDC, aided by a loan from the Hancock County Commission and two cleaning grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, acquired the site, demolished the historic pottery, and redeveloped the nine acres of land.
In 2018, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection granted a completion certificate for the site.
With aid from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, United Bank, and Starvaggi Charity, a 30,000-square-foot speculative building was erected, and the land was renamed Rock Springs Business Park.