A man named Klaus has wrapped up his purchase of the American Christmas Inc. festive lighting company just in time for the holidays.
MK Illumination USA, under CEO Klaus Mark, paid $11.85 million for the American Christmas facility at 30 Warren Place in Mount Vernon. Klaus’ Warren Place Real Estate LLC acquired the 2.25 acres and 110,000-square-foot warehouse.
The transaction closed on Oct. 27 and was recorded by the county four days after Thanksgiving, including new lease and mortgage terms with the Mount Vernon Industrial Development Agency.
“We make the magic,” is the American Christmas motto.
Creating experiences that connect people to emotions is MK Illumination’s forte.
American Christmas was founded in the Bronx by Marvin Schwam in 1968. His son, Frederic, moved the facility to Mount Vernon in 2010.
American Christmas has staged elaborate lighting and holiday displays at prominent locations such as Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center.
MK Illumination started in a garage in Innsbruck, Austria in 1996, and has grown into the largest festive lighting company in Europe.
It operates 36 subsidiaries in 100 countries and manufactures its displays in six places, including Conover, North Carolina.
MK Illumination announced earlier this year that it would close the North Carolina facility when the U.S. headquarters opens in Mount Vernon. The displays will be manufactured elsewhere but will be assembled and stored in Mount Vernon and then shipped to North American customers.
American Christmas was paying $143,123 in real estate taxes, under a payment in lieu of taxes agreement negotiated with the IDA seven years ago. That tax abatement deal has been terminated and a new, 15-year PILOT starts the tax at $40,000 a year and culminates at $145,000 in year eleven.
MK had pledged to keep all 65 full-time employees and to create 16 to 18 jobs within two years. Mark said in February that the company could double the number of jobs in four years, if the business is successful.