Proximity to I-10 a selling point
A Michigan real estate development company has bought the former Oreck building in Long Beach for an undisclosed amount and is looking for tenants or a buyer.
ProVisions renamed the 360,500-square-foot warehouse and distribution center the I-10 Business Center.
ProVisions owner Murray Wikol said that the interstate proximity is a key selling point.
“With up to 360,500 square feet, up to 104 dock doors, 22-foot clearance height, plus 40 acres for expansion, this is clearly one of the best opportunities available from New Orleans to Mobile along the I-10 corridor,” Wikol said. “We’re looking forward to creating jobs.”
Larry Barnett, executive director of the Harrison County Development Commission, said the new owner has contacts around the country and “would be very aggressive in marketing the building.”
Wikol said his company has been involved in “hundreds of millions” of dollars in development and redevelopment projects in Mississippi, including a $200 million mixed-use outdoor lifestyle center in Pearl, whose tenants include the Atlanta Braves AA baseball team and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Wikol also had a hand in developing the Hattiesburg Convention Center.
ProVisions recently completed a 120,000-square-foot building for GE Plastics in Hancock County. “We are closing on other projects in the state and look to do more on the Gulf Coast,” he said.
Wikol said the former vacuum cleaner manufacturing plant could be attractive to a range of potential occupants.
“We feel very strongly there’s going to be growth in aerospace, shipbuilding and distribution with manufacturers of consumer products. We think the I-10 corridor from Florida to Louisiana will show good growth throughout the next five to 20 years.”
Oreck announced in December 2006 that it was closing the Long Beach plant and moving the operation to Cookeville, Tenn. CEO Tom Oreck cited rising insurance costs and lack of skilled labor among the reasons for leaving after Hurricane Katrina. The plant had about 450 employees.
Barnett said the company finished paying off its $3 million loan from the Mississippi Development Authority last month. The low-interest loan, channeled through Harrison County, had a stipulation that the vacuum manufacturer had to sustain an employment level of 200 or above.
Murray Wikol, ProVisions owner
By LISA MONTI, SunHerald.com