WEST BRUNSWICK TOWNSHIP -- A businessman in Schuylkill County is taking a bad situation and turning it around.
November was a bad month at Fessler USA near Orwigsburg. The clothing manufacturer closed and laid off more than 100 workers. The owner, Walter Meck, blamed the economy.
But Meck is turning all that around. He has found several tenants to fill most of the huge factory. Meck said he now runs a real estate company.
"I think it's important for Schuylkill County to be alive and vibrant, so when we had to close down our company, we immediately looked for somebody to come in to keep people employed," Meck said.
One of the new tenants is a gym called Warrior's Boot Camp. Charles Touchinsky is a client. Touchinsky said the business is booming.
"As a matter of fact he's not open too long and it's packed, packed all the time," he said.
The gym is owned by two vets who are also brothers. Chris Stokes is a Marine.
"We first started off in a two-car garage, which was about 500 square feet," Stokes said. "We're now currently in about 7,000 square feet."
Co-owner Mitchell Stokes served with the Navy. He said the gym is doing well.
"A lot of real estate sitting around because of the economy the way it is, it’s a great thing. Business is growing very fast. I am very pleased," he added.
Besides the realty company and the gym, a water bottling company operation opened in the building, all making good use of the closed apparel plant in Schuylkill County.