ICP Buys Former Sears Distribution Center in Metro Columbus

Citing substantial demand, the Ohio-based developer plans to subdivide the 570,000-square-foot property, which is fully equipped with conveyors and racking.
4400 S. Hamilton Road. Image via Google Maps

Industrial Commercial Properties has acquired a 570,000-square-foot former Sears distribution center in Groveport, Ohio. Cleveland-based ICP has acquired four Ohio properties from Sears since 2014, counting the Groveport facility—the Sears retail building at the former Randall Park Mall in North Randall, the former Sears store at Midway Mall in Elyria, which includes a freestanding Sears Auto Center, and a former Kmart store in Streetsboro.

The 42.8-acre site at 4400 S. Hamilton Road is adjacent to Ohio 33/Southeast Expressway and barely more than a mile from its interchange with Interstate 270, Chris Semarjian, owner of ICP, told Commercial Property Executive. The facility, which features 30-foot clear ceiling heights and cross-docking, has been unused for the past three to four years, Semarjian said. The acquisition also includes a full automation package of equipment, conveyors and racking, according to ICP. The new owner plans to subdivide the property.

Large spaces are tight

4400 S. Hamilton Road interior. Image courtesy of Industrial Commercial Properties

Bulk industrial space—properties of 100,000 square feet or larger, with minimum 28-foot clear ceilings and built within the past 15 years—in the Southeast metro Columbus submarket has a total vacancy of 7.9 percent on an inventory of 43.6 million square feet, according to a first-quarter report from Cushman & Wakefield. The average asking rent is $3.58 per square foot per year. 

“Big (distribution) spaces in Columbus are rare right now,” Semarjian told CPE“There is a … regional demand for logistics facilities and limited availability. The property is situated in an active industrial corridor and a new 200,000-square-foot preleased building is nearing completion next door. Our property lends itself well to two tenants and there has already been substantial interest in this asset,” he added.

Last October, Stuart Eisenberg and David Berliner of BDO highlighted the imminent closure of 142 Sears stores in a commentary on the challenges facing bricks-and-mortar retail. They noted that while strategies exist on paper for “reimagining” shopping malls, obstacles include adequate capital and practical experience in executing these substantial changes.