Real Estate - Commercial

Crane Firm's Move Makes Way For New Manufacturer, 1,300 Jobs

By Cece Nunn, posted Nov 12, 2014
Before a new company brings more than 1,000 jobs to a manufacturing site in Wilmington, an existing firm has been moving out of the property to a different address in the Port City.

Terex Crane, previously located at 202 Raleigh St., moved Monday into 10,000 square feet at 3147 S. 17th Street, one of two buildings in Barclay Centre, the former PPD campus between 17th Street and Independence Boulevard.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Wilmington Business Development is scheduled to announce that Vertex Rail Manufacturing will bring 1,300 jobs and make its various products, including oil tank cars, at 202 Raleigh St., business officials said Tuesday.   

Terex Crane stopped manufacturing in Wilmington about two and a half years ago, Terex plant manager John Allen said Wednesday. Terex split its former Wilmington operations into segments, with its tower crane division going into one of the worldwide company’s existing facilities in Italy and its road crane division relocating to Iowa, Allen said. Meanwhile, another segment moved to Oklahoma City.

But the firm kept some parts of its operations, including after-market sales, service technicians, warranty and small engineering groups for cranes and a portion of outside sales, in Wilmington, Allen said.

Before it became part of Terex Crane in 1995, the Wilmington operation was part of American Crane, a company that relocated to Wilmington from Wisconsin in the 1980s, Allen said. Now, the 49 employees of Terex Crane’s local office are working about a mile away from 202 Raleigh St., on the first floor in the Barclay Centre building, a convenient new location, Allen said.

He said many of the company’s employees in Wilmington have been with the company’s crane division for 25 years or more and most are lifelong residents of the area.
Of the 202 Raleigh St. property, Allen said, “We’re elated to be able to be working hand in hand with making sure this facility has longevity, especially for the community. To help find someone to put in here to create so many jobs – that’s a wonderful thing for this area.”

While the facility had been tied into rail from the days it belonged to Babcock & Wilcox, which made boilers for ships, the site's rail access allowed Terex Crane to test its rail cranes, Allen said.

Brokers Mark Johnson and Janet Rose with Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners located the new space for Terex Crane more than a year ago and closed on the transaction at the end of July, according to a Coldwell Banker news release.

Commercial Interior Solutions and Uhl Inc. have been working on the design and upfit for the new Terex Crane office since then, the release says, and completed the project about a week ahead of schedule.

“Other properties that were considered included space at the new ILM business park, but due to timing constraints, Terex chose a building already completed,” the release stated.

Terex has signed a five-year lease for its new location, which is owned by Cameron Management, and the other major tenant in the building is DAK Americas, which is temporarily on the third floor. New Hanover County Regional Medical Center offices are located in the other building at Barclay Center at 3151 S. 17th St., said Hill Rogers, broker in charge for Cameron Management.

Allen did not disclose how much Terex is paying to lease its new location. Offices in the building had a lease price of $14 per square foot in a listing Wednesday.

The 202 Raleigh St. property had a listed selling price of $9.54 million on Loopnet and includes buildings with more than 500,000 square feet of space on about 68 acres.

A Railway Age article in February mentioned Vertex Rail Manufacturing’s Wilmington location, and quoted company official Daniel Bigda as saying that “the Wilmington plant is large enough to support production of up to 50 tank cars per week.”

Vertex also has a facility in Worcester, Mass., the article stated.

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