CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The former property home of Freedom Industries has been sold to the highest bidder.

That bidder Jim Shafer of Shafer Equipment and Ace Pipeline as the hammer dropped at $375,000. Shafer Equipment is located in Clendenin and specializes in heavy equipment rental and sales. Shafer said that this new property should be used for more of the same.

The property sits on 4.9-acres.

“At Shafer Equipment we build tack rigs, welding rigs on off-road equipment,” he said. “We are kind of thinking about building tack rigs and welding that fabricate different things on off-road trucks.”

The Kanawha County land was home to the 2014 water crisis that left nine counties in a drinking water crisis. In January of 2014, the chemical MCHM leaked from one of the tanks on the property into the Elk River. The tanks have since been torn down and the site has been remediated.

14 bidders took part in the auction hosted Joe R. Pyle Auction Service, 12 on-site and two on the phone. The bidding for the entire 4.9-acre unit got underway at $100,000.

“This is a nice building here,” Joe R. Pyle, the auctioneer, said. “It’s a fairly decent location. Somebody that is in commercial type business whether it be in the construction business or somebody that has built buildings would know this building is still well built. It has excellent bones.

“The buildings will go back together and will be very useful. It would cost a fortune to replace these buildings. I mean they are old but they still have good bones, structure, skeletons.”

The winning bidder had to put 10% payment down Thursday along with having a 5-percent buyer fee added on to the $375,000, owing another $18,750. Pyle added that they projected the land to be sold between $300,000 and $450,000.

Jake Flatley/

Winning bidder Jim Shafer signs his down payment check for the property.

“We were expecting right in that neighborhood,” Shafer said. “I thought it would be a little more to tell you the truth. West Virginia is a little slow right now so that makes a difference too.”

Shafer said with winning the bid of the property, this could mean more jobs for the business.

“We are always looking to hire new people,” he said. “We are looking to hire people now probably. Between Ace Pipeline and Shafer Equipment, we have between 350 and 360 on the payroll.”