Former Garland pen company building in Coventry sells for $800,000

COVENTRY – The former Garland Writing Instruments building in Coventry was bought recently for $800,000, after the pen manufacturer was acquired last year by Pen Co. of America and the facility was closed, according to the commercial real estate firm that represented the sellers.

The 40,000-square-foot mill building, located at 1 South Main St., was acquired by the Jarrell and Stone families, according to Sweeney Real Estate & Appraisal. A copy of the warranty deed, a public record available online through Coventry’s town clerk, states that the property was sold by the Newport-based Becker Properties LLC to 1 S Main St Coventry LLC, a limited liability company located in East Greenwich.

The real estate brokerage said the new owners plan to lease out the building for office and retail, but they did not have any tenants to announce at this time. The owners also have zoning approval for industrial uses, according to Sweeney Real Estate.

Garland Writing Instruments was considered a leading American manufacturer of pens since 1927, before the Coventry company was bought by the Garwood, N.J.-based Pen Co. in June last year. Pen Co. also acquired Ben-Art Manufacturing of Prospect, Conn., at the time.

Pen Co. then relocated Garland and Ben-Art to its New Jersey manufacturing facility, closing the Coventry site.

The former owner of Garland Writing Instruments previously stated that the COVID-19 pandemic dried up custom pen orders it typically received from conventions and trade shows, causing financial distress for the company and bringing it to the brink of closure.

The Coventry company, which had about a dozen employees, received news coverage a couple years ago for making the pens that were used by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to sign the articles of impeachment against then-President Donald Trump. Garland said previously that Pelosi’s office orders hundreds of custom pens with her signature engraved on them, costing about $20 each.

The two-story brick mill building was last valued by Coventry property assessors in fiscal year 2021 as being worth $858,300, according to public records. The building, constructed in 1900 on a 1.18-acre lot, has more than 9,000 square feet of office space and five half-bathrooms, according to public records.