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— Simmons Pet Food recently paid $2.6 million for the building that patio furniture maker Syroco Inc. used to occupy, along with 59 acres at 1700 E. Quarter Road in Siloam Springs.

The 382,434-square-foot building will be used as additional warehouse space for the Siloam Springs-based pet food manufacturer.

Simmons doesn’t expect any additional jobs at this time, said Todd Simmons, company president.

Simmons announced in July an $8 million expansion to its pet food business, which includes a new plant in Decatur that will have 15 employees by late this year. The plant is planned to open in March and employ about 80 people.

Simmons Foods has been in the pet food business since 1959 and is one of the largest canned pet food, private-label and cobranded manufacturers in the world.

The $17 billion pet food industry is somewhat recession proof, according to Farha Aslam, analyst with Stephens Inc.

Simmons said the expansion will help the company better serve its private-label customers.

Simmons bought the Syroco property out of bankruptcy. Syroco closed in June 2007 and about 100 employees were laid off.

Wayne Mays, director of the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce, said the Simmons purchase is excellent for the community.

“We had this huge vacant building,” Mays said. “The longer something stays empty, the better the chance something could go wrong.”

The building deteriorated somewhat after Syroco’s plant closure, though there haven’t been problems with fire or rodents.

“There is no way this can’t be an improvement,” Mays said. “They (Simmons) will turn this into a good opportunity.”

Print Headline: Syroco Building Sold To Simmons

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