After sitting vacant for nearly three years, the former Circuit City distribution center has been given a new lease on life with new owners who are aggressively pursuing the goal of occupying the facility with a national corporation.
A Canadian based firm, Dalfen America Corp., purchased the million square-foot distribution center in July for more than $8 million.
Sean Dalfen, managing director of Dalfen America, said Dalfen plans to make significant improvements to the facility and lease it out to the best possible tenant they can find.
Although he wouldn’t say who, Dalfen said there is interest in the facility, and the tenant will likely be involved in the distribution of both fast- and slow-moving goods.
With a tenant yet to be determined, Dalfen couldn’t guess how many jobs the re-occupied distribution center might bring, but anticipates it could be hundreds.
The Marion facility has a number of selling points that would interest large corporations, Dalfen said, it’s a large existing facility, has access to a good workforce, has access to major highways and UPS/FedEx hubs, is within 12 hours of 120 million people and has a business friendly city government.
The task at hand for Dalfen America will be helping corporations find Marion.
“Marion is something that is an anomaly. There is an incredible facility there, but the way large retailers or other corporations that choose their distribution centers choose their sites are through logistics studies,” Dalfen said. “And if you’re not on the map, you just won’t be found. And something we’re doing is we’re putting this property on the map. I believe without a doubt we will attract a top-quality tenant.”
To put the Marion facility on the map, Dalfen is ensuring the property has too many benefits for a corporation to turn down.
The Marion city council approved a measure Monday selling 9.4 acres adjacent to the property for $50,000. The additional land will increase the amount of parking, as well as trailer storage so a company can have an area for containers or a staging area to pickup or drop off goods.
Dalfen said the company has assumed it will take 18 to 24 months to lease the facility, but he is comfortable saying he believes it could be leased within a year.
“What we want to do is really make this building not on an option, but the best option that a tenant would have,” he said. “In this business it’s not a deal until it’s a deal, and people have options. And when they have options you have to show them why you are the best option.”