UPDATE: CNB purchases American Woodmark
Cherokee Nation Businesses officials announced on Oct. 31 that the entity has purchased the American Woodmark facility in Tahlequah, Okla. Tribal officials say CNB bought it for more than $5 million. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
CATOOSA, Okla. – Interim Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO Shawn Slaton said on Oct. 31 at a CNB board meeting that the entity has closed a deal to buy the American Woodmark building in Tahlequah.
“Cherokee Nation Businesses, through subsidiary Cherokee Nation Property Management, LLC., purchased the former American Woodmark building in the Tahlequah Industrial Park,” said Slaton in an email. “The board approved the purchase during a special meeting on Oct. 23 and we closed on the property Oct. 30 for $5,350,000.”
In January, Tribal Councilor Cara Cowan Watts questioned then CNB CEO David Stewart about a conflict of interest regarding Scott Wright of Wright Realty being the property’s realtor. He is the husband of CNB board member Tommye Sue Bradshaw Wright.
With regards to the voting decision to purchase this property, Slaton said “board member Tommye Sue Wright abstained from voting.”
The purchase includes a 298,000 square foot manufacturing space, 10,000 square feet of office space and 13.7 acres of land, which includes the parking lot, Slaton said.
Cherokee Nation Property Management, a CNB entity, attempted to purchase the property in April, but could not reach a deal with the TIA because of the parking lot acreage.
On Oct. 29, the Tahlequah Industrial Authority board approved the sale of its 13.71 acres around the facility to American Woodmark. TIA Chairman Mark Gish said the acreage sold for $600,000.
Slaton said purchasing the building will give CNB room for “future growth.”
“The ability to develop more relationships and expand business directly depends on the capacity to support that growth,” he said. “An example is the purchase of the facility in Pryor. Because of its extra capacity, we were able to partner with two companies during the past year to create more jobs for Cherokee citizens within the Cherokee Nation. This property allows for those same type of opportunities.”
American Woodmark previously used the facility to process and build media cabinets, file cabinets, residential cabinets and kitchen cabinet doors. The company suspended the Tahlequah plant’s activities in April 2009, nearly seven years after the $19 million facility was constructed.