Lowe’s Companies is preparing to establish a distribution warehouse center in Brunswick County, with plans to add approximately 50 jobs to the region.
The home improvement company is the final tenant in the first phase of the International Commerce Center, a speculative industrial development in the Brunswick County International Logistics Park.
Lowe’s signed a long-term lease in January, according to Hill Rogers, broker-in-charge at Cameron Management.
The company will partner with a third party to run the 67,000-square-foot Brunswick County warehouse. Hourly and management opportunities will be available among the new slate of jobs.
“This facility will serve as a cross-dock delivery terminal for last-mile delivery of bulky items like appliances, riding mowers, grills and patio furniture,” Lowe’s spokesperson Steve Salazar wrote in a statement.
Appliances and other “highly deliverable” products will be shipped out of the facility beginning this fall, according to Salazar. The space is part of the company’s larger distribution network expansion, a $1.7 billion investment to transform its supply chain network. Lowe’s and its third-party partners plan to create 5,000 new jobs nationwide through the effort. The company is more than halfway to its milestone of adding 50 cross-dock delivery terminals set in August 2020, Salazar said.
Lowe’s currently has three retail locations in Wilmington: one in Monkey Junction, one in midtown and one in Porter’s Neck. A fourth is planned in Leland.
“We are excited to expand our footprint in this community,” Salazar wrote.
The new Brunswick County facility will enable Lowe’s to build out its market-based delivery network and increase local efficiencies, enabling it to provide “faster and more predictable delivery for our customers in North Carolina and South Carolina,” according to Salazar.
Located roughly 18 miles from the Port of Wilmington off U.S. 74, the 150,660-square-foot International Commerce Center was fully leased before work on the building wrapped.
“Any developer would tell you if you get the ability to be fully leased before you’ve completed the building, you’re slapping high fives,” Rogers said.
The project was developed by Cameron Management in partnership with Windsor Commercial and Jeff Earp. It’s the first commercial development in the 1,000-acre industrial park.
A first tenant, Precision Swiss Products Inc., was announced in July 2021. The California-based aerospace parts manufacturer is in the process of relocating its headquarters to Brunswick County, and could move into its roughly 60,000-square-foot space starting next week once a temporary certificate of occupancy is obtained, Rogers said.
Local company Tri-Tech Forensics will be the next tenant to move in, anticipated in the following weeks. The medical and forensic kit assembly company will expand its production capacities in its roughly 33,500-square-foot portion of the facility.
Phase two of the International Commerce Center involves doubling the existing footprint with another 150,000 square foot facility. The first phase was estimated to cost $8.5 million, officials previously said in August 2021; the second phase, though it will be the same product, will cost more to develop in light of inflationary construction costs, Rogers said. This will also mean higher rent fees, which are to be determined, he said.
With the pad for phase two already installed, construction of the pre-cast concrete building should take about five to six months. “Once the stuff arrives, it’s like a jigsaw puzzle,” he said.
Rogers said he anticipates construction beginning before the year ends.
Cece Nunn - Jan 30, 2023
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