N.Y. firm buys shuttered Sony plant in Pitman

Posted: June 12, 2013

A Brooklyn-based film production company confirmed Tuesday that it has bought the shuttered Sony manufacturing plant in Pitman for $3 million.

Broadway Stages Ltd. intends to lease the nearly 500,000-square-foot complex - which was a CD-manufacturing hub before it closed in 2011 - to a new manufacturing tenant, said Tony Argento, a principal at the company.

The Sony Music Entertainment Inc. facility used to be one of the biggest employers in Gloucester County with 2,000 workers at its peak. About 350 people worked there at the time it closed in March 2011.

Argento said the property was attractive because of its size and infrastructure: full air-conditioning, an "incredible" electrical distribution system, and "Class A office space."

"One of the main reasons I bought it is to try to get another manufacturing company back in there. I strongly believe the building is built so well," he said.

"It has such an incredible infrastructure that it would be ideal for another manufacturer to go back in: high-tech, hopefully."

Broadway Stages, whose website indicates it is also involved in economic and neighborhood development projects, closed on the purchase May 29.

When it announced in January 2011 that the plant would close, Sony cited "current economic environment and challenges facing the physical-media industry."

Sony did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Workers at the plant - formerly owned by CBS Records Inc. and CBS Inc. before it - made vinyl records and later CDs. Sony bought the plant in 1987, according to property records.

Pitman Mayor Russ Johnson was cautiously optimistic about the transaction, noting that he hadn't yet spoken with the new owner.

"It's better than an empty building," Johnson said Tuesday. "I'm hoping they lease this out to industrial tenants to have lots of employees."

Contact Andrew Seidman

at 856-779-3846, aseidman@phillynews.com or @AndrewSeidman on Twitter.

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