Santa Paula, California-based manufacturer BendPak, a global producer of automotive lifts, pipe benders, air compressors and shop equipment, recently announced the opening of a massive 100,000-square-foot warehouse to be set up in Theodore.
It is expected to serve as a regional distribution hub for the company’s customer base spread throughout the Eastern part of the United States.
COVID-19 notwithstanding, the administrative and shipping complex is expected to be fully operational within 60 days. The site was selected, in part, due to its strategic proximity to the Port of Mobile.
“Opening the Mobile distribution center represents our continued commitment to serving our customers. Part of that commitment means reducing delivery times,” Don Henthorn, BendPak’s founder and CEO, said. “This new facility brings our products geographically closer to our customers and will make a huge difference.”
The new warehouse is anticipated to stock all company products, including its Ranger, QuickJack and Autostacker brands. The space will also include a classroom, which will offer technical training on BendPak’s various product lines for staff and customers as well, if they are interested.
The distribution center will have access to Interstate 65, Interstate 10, Interstate 165, and Highway 43. Fulfillment operations will offer next-day or two-day delivery to a large share of BendPak’s customer base in the Eastern and Central time zones. BendPak’s sister center is located in Santa Paula and serves the western half of the country.
Despite major economic slowdowns created worldwide by the current coronavirus pandemic, BendPak reportedly plans to move forward with its expansion efforts, as soon as federal, state and municipal social distancing protocols are loosened and nonessential businesses are opened back up.
Technologic growth of the company, to potentially mitigate logistical challenges faced by the coronavirus pandemic, was another factor in acquiring the Theodore site.
“This new distribution center will enable us to more efficiently meet the needs of our growing customer base on the East Coast,” BendPak’s CIO and automation initiatives spearhead Rudy Diaz said. “In addition to reduced delivery times and improved customer service, the new location will provide added warehouse and transportation efficiencies, which will contribute to cost savings for our customers.”
Upon opening, BendPak’s new distribution center will feature a 3,600-square-foot administrative office space, 15 dock doors, two oversized ramp doors, a wet pipe sprinkler system and LED lighting. The site’s 24-foot ceiling height will also allow for a variety of racked and floor storage options for inventory placement. Staffing needs at the new site were unknown as of press time.
BendPak’s announcement was also of notable import in the realms of local real estate dealings.
“Until March of last year, this building was occupied and leased by American Tire Distributors,” Adam Metcalfe, of Metcalfe & Company Inc., said. “A corporate move forced them to consolidate into a new building in Pensacola. The owner then listed the building with our company. We sold it to an out-of-town investor for $3,825,000.”
Metcalfe represented the seller in that transaction and Allen Garstecki with JLL worked for the buyer. After picking up the property, the new owner listed it with JLL to lease again.
“In January of this year I began working with BendPak to help them find a facility,” Metcalfe said. “We looked in port markets from Virginia to Texas. After looking all over the region, they decided to come to Mobile and look at the former American Tire space located at 5240 Willis Road. Although the new owners of the Willis Road building initially did not want to sell it, we were eventually able to negotiate a sale.”
Last week when the ink dried on a new deal, the site sold for $5.3 million — an increase (and tidy profit) of nearly 40 percent in the selling price for the Theodore site after previously changing hands for $1.475 million less.
This time around, Metcalfe worked for BendPak (the buyer) and JLL’s Allen Garstecki represented the seller on the deal, flip-flopping roles from their first go-round on the property a year prior.
Business moves, transactions
The Mobile Planning Commission recently announced they gave the greenlight to a group of regional investors to develop a site on some two acres of property located at 7960 Old Government Street in West Mobile.
Buildout on the tract of land is expected to involve collectively constructing some 26,000 to 36,000 square feet of storage units, five in total, designed to hold RVs, boats and automobiles.
An out-of-state investor has purchased an investment property located at 4710 Moffett Road in Mobile for $645,000. The 3,471-square-foot retail site has been fully leased to Savannah, Georgia-based TitleMax. Jeff Barnes and Steadman Bethea with Stirling Properties brokered the transaction.
A Florida-based healthcare company has purchased the 18,000-square-foot former Country Place Senior Living facility located at 140 McRae Street in Atmore for $1,086,500. The new owners are planning to reopen the site as The Summit. Metcalfe represented the seller. Ann Gordon with Atmore Realty worked for the buyer.
An out-of-town investor paid $227,500 for an office/warehouse space sitting on 2.6 acres in Satsuma, located at 208 Baldwin Road. The current tenant will continue to operate at the location. Tracy Womack and Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty handled the transaction.
Chris Harle with White-Spunner Realty recently reported leasing some 1,000 square feet of office space, located inside the Piccadilly Square Shopping Center at 6347 Airport Boulevard, Suite C, in West Mobile, to the Jeff Sessions Senate Campaign. It will be used as a local campaign office.
H.T. Barnes Company, a Foley-based window treatments business, has leased some 7,500 square feet of office and warehouse space located at 11426 County Road 65 in Foley. David Milstead with Bellator Real Estate represented with the tenant. Metcalfe worked for the landlord.
Robert Cook with Vallas Realty recently completed the lease transaction for a 4,450-square-foot training site found at 4308 Downtowner Loop Drive North for Mobile-headquartered Read-Write: The Learning Center. The company is relocating from 15 Midmost Drive in Mobile.
An established owner/operator of convenience stores purchased an existing store at 19511 County Road 64 in Robertsdale for $675,000. Wright handled the transaction.
Houston-based DistributionNOW, an industrial supply business, has leased 10,400 square feet of warehouse space located at 3131 Hamilton Boulevard in Mobile, according to Metcalfe, who handled the transaction.
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