Refurbishing Plants into Distribution Centers

It’s becoming more common for companies to set up strategic distribution centers around the country as a means of shortening logistics chains and getting finished products in the hands of customers in record time, sometimes even on the same day. In the growing age of e-commerce, time is of the essence. Property owners are paying attention by refurbishing facilities that once housed manufacturing companies and turning them into prime distribution and fulfillment space for big box retailers.


One facility in Piscataway, New Jersey has made recent news as great example of this refurbishment trend. What was once home to Dow Chemical has been gutted, retrofitted and cleaned up for fulfillment, with Best Buy to be one of the complex’s new tenants. In the crowded real estate industry of New Jersey, the Piscataway facility serves as a creative example of job creation and land use. Other examples include a former GM factory that was bustling in Delaware is set to be demolished and the land repurposed for logistics, a GM plant in Michigan now handles warehousing and distribution for robotics and a Ford plant in Ohio has been refurbished into a distribution center.


In land-strapped areas of the country, reimagining old facilities makes sense for a lot of reasons.

  • Tenants save time and money with shorter logistics chains
  • Opportunities to build better customer relationships with faster shipping services
  • Facilities offer new jobs for areas which were economically stressed
  • Distribution centers can be quickly filled with replacement tenants, protecting communities if a business leaves town
  • Locations are usually already optimal for logistics, being near ports or major roadways


In the age of quick transactions and quicker in-hand times, it has become crucial for companies to do what they can to shorten their logistics chains and stay competitive. By utilizing previous manufacturing space for distribution and fulfillment, companies tap into access to roads, railways and ports which were already built, shorten time frames to get up and running and provide communities with an influx of jobs, among many other benefits.


Does your company utilize property that used to be a manufacturing plant in decades past? What do you think of the process of refurbishing old spaces for new manufacturing and distribution? Let us know in the comments below.


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