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GE selling shuttered lighting plant in Bridgeville area for nearly 100 years

| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 4:09 p.m.
The former General Electric Lighting Glass Plant in Collier photographed Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. The plant closed in August.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
The former General Electric Lighting Glass Plant in Collier photographed Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. The plant closed in August.

GE Lighting will sell the Mayer Street plant it shuttered in Collier in August, company officials said.

The plant, which had been a fixture in the Bridgeville area for nearly a century, was closed Aug. 11, nearly a year after company officials said the shift away from incandescent, halogen and specialty fluorescent lighting made at the facility was forcing its hand.

A 2007 federal law set energy standards for light bulbs. Common household light bulbs, which normally use 40 to 100 watts, had to meet the efficiency requirements by 2014.

“The plant was operating at 80 percent below capacity,” said Alicia Gauer, a GE spokesperson in Cleveland. “Consumer demand for traditional lighting is at an all-time low, and that shift has been supported by the U.S. government phasing out incandescent bulbs.”

Sixty people, many of whom were close to retirement age, lost their jobs when the plant closed. The workers received benefits including severance pay, continued medical, dental and life insurance coverage for dependents, as well as tuition reimbursement for education and retraining, the company said.

The company is cleaning up the plant, which opened in 1907 under the ownership of the J.B. Higbee Co. GE bought the facility in 1918. The plant closed in 1935 because of the Great Depression and reopened three years later.

The site, on nearly 10 acres, has yet to be listed for sale, Gauer said. The property has a market value of $1.84 million, according to Allegheny County property records.

Township officials declined to comment on the potential sale and reuse of the property.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-871-2346, or via Twitter @41suzanne.

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