Distributor expands with Pueblo purchase

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Russ Davis Wholesale purchased the 128,100-square foot vacant manufacturing facility, once home to the Mars Co., Petcare Division, for $5.41 million from the Pueblo Economic Development Corp.

A Minnesota-based fresh fruit and produce distributor’s expansion into Colorado marks one of the largest industrial deals in Pueblo in years.

Russ Davis Wholesale purchased the 128,100-square foot vacant manufacturing facility, once home to the Mars Co., Petcare Division, for $5.41 million from the Pueblo Economic Development Corp. PEDCO purchased the building in 2016 from Mars at a discounted price of $3.9 million.

“Russ Davis was looking for a distribution center in the Denver metro area but was unable to find a facility for sale that met all their requirements, so we expanded our search north and south of Denver,” explained Ron Webert of Lee & Associates Denver. “This facility met all the criteria, and with the economic incentives being offered by Pueblo, it was a home run.”

PEDCO had purchased the property in order to head off any marijuana buyers, who were buying up all of the available industrial real estate, and try to preserve it for traditional employers, said Webert.

“Their strategy worked perfectly as Russ Davis will bring a high number of employees to the area,” he added.

Webert, along with Chris Garcia of Lee & Associates Minneapolis, represented Russ Davis Wholesale in the acquisition.

The city of Pueblo provided Russ Davis Wholesale a $2.6 million grant from its sales and use tax capital improvement projects fund to help purchase and ready the building while the city also will transfer up to $130,400 for pre-employment training at Pueblo Community College, according to a City Council resolution on the acquisition.

The facility, which is anticipated to be ready for operations by September, will bring 163 jobs to the city in the next several years at an average salary of not less than $36,122. It will serve as Russ Davis Wholesale’s main distribution facility to serve customers in Colorado and New Mexico.

The building, located at 1 Mars Place in the Memorial Airport Industrial Park, is near the Pueblo Memorial Airport and a number of regional manufacturing and distribution centers for companies including Target, Ingersoll Rand/Trane, Goodrich, KMG and Doss Aviation. The facility on 17.28 acres also features approximately 125,000 sf of warehouse, distribution, manufacturing and assembly area and 3,100 sf of front office space.

The property, built in 1992, expanded in 1994 and renovated in 2012, features 16- to 36-foot clear height, nine dock doors, drive-in doors, a direct rail spur with access to the BNSF rail line and is fully sprinklered.

Russ Davis Wholesale’s current operations include five distribution centers in the Midwest.

Featured in CREJ’s July 4-17, 2018, issue

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