Nova Scotia

Tour Tech East buys Scanwood factory

A Nova Scotia company plans to transform a shuttered plant that once produced dressers for IKEA into a soundstage for movies.

A Nova Scotia company plans to transform a shuttered plant that once produced dressers for IKEA into a soundstage for movie and television productions.

Tour Tech East bought the former Scanwood furniture plant in Dartmouth for $3.5 million, far less than the plant's assessed value of $11 million.

A judge approved the sale on Wednesday.

Rob Hunt, the court-appointed receiver tasked with selling the property, said he's happy to find a buyer.

"It's unfortunate that there is such a difference in the value from what people thought it would be, but the market test ultimately determines what the value is," Hunt said.

Tour Tech currently operates two small studios across the street from the plant, where actors Tom Selleck and Pierce Brosnan have shot movies for television.

Tour Tech owner Peter Hendrickson predicts the new property could boost an industry that provides nearly 3,000 jobs and contributes $100 million a year to the economy.

"We would be able to do larger films if we had more facilities available," Hendrickson said.

"We are hoping to build four additional studio soundstages for the film industry, but a lot of that is really depending on government support."

Hendrickson wants the province to invest $1 million for renovation work.

Last fall, the provincial government loaned Scanwood $4.5 million to automate its production line. It expects to get back less than $1 million after the equipment is sold at an auction.

Scanwood Canada Inc. made nearly one million chests of drawers every year for IKEA, its only customer. It once employed more than 200 people.

The debt-ridden company was placed in receivership in April.

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