Real Estate - Commercial

Old Vertex Site To See New Life With Equipment Firm

By Emma Dill, posted Nov 6, 2023
A heavy equipment manufacturer has signed a lease at an industrial facility near Wilmington’s port with plans to establish a warehouse and distribution hub. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Business Development)

A heavy equipment manufacturer has signed a lease at Wilmington’s former Vertex Railcar facility with plans to establish a warehouse and distribution hub.

SANY America Inc. expects to create an initial 50 jobs when it launches operations in the more than 532,000-square-foot facility at 202 Raleigh St., according to a Monday news release from Wilmington Business Development. The site near Wilmington’s port was formerly occupied by Vertex Railcar Corp. and Terex Cranes.

While SANY America won’t officially launch its operations at the site, which is also known as Wilmington Business Park, until January, hiring preparations are underway to staff the planned “regional staging equipment yard,” the release stated. 

The firm has signed a long-term lease for the property, which includes 20 cranes and industrial-quality power along with internal and direct rail service. Since 2015, the property has undergone significant upgrades, including new rail infrastructure along with a blast, paint and cure booth, according to the release.

“SANY America is excited to be coming to the Wilmington area as part of our expansion in the North American market,” Qingwei Xu, CEO of SANY America, wrote in the release. “The location near the port, capabilities of the facility and local community were all factors that exceeded our expectations and led to our selection of Wilmington Business Park.”

SANY America, a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly held SANY Heavy Industry Co. Ltd., focuses on the R&D, production, sales and servicing of heavy industrial equipment. The company supplies equipment through its own Dealer Partner Network and supports a full line of construction, port and material handling equipment. SANY America is headquartered in Peachtree City, Ga., where it also maintains a significant production presence. 

“SANY is a top global name in industrial equipment and will align nicely with Greater Wilmington’s business community,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo stated in the release. “This company is a proven brand and a growing market share. We’re proud SANY America has selected our city as a hub for its warehousing and distribution operations.”

SANY’s Beijing-based parent company was founded in 1989 as a small welding company. It now employs a worldwide workforce of more than 26,000, and its 2022 sales topped $80 billion globally, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

SANY America selected the property due to its infrastructure and amenities, including multi-modal industrial access and high-grade utility service, along with the proximity to the port and business-friendly local governments, the release stated.

The facility is owned by Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group. The Colliers industrial team of Larry Lakins, Lang Williams, Hunter Willard and Andrew Young represented IRG in the transaction.
“IRG is thrilled to welcome SANY to our unique facility in Wilmington,” IRG President Stuart Lichter wrote in the release. “The city’s robust, business-friendly climate coupled with a well-positioned property will result in significant job creation. This is a win for the entire region.” 
Once occupied, the facility will be fully leased with some developable land still available on site, according to the release. 

Railcar manufacturer Vertex Railcar Corp. set up shop on the site in 2014. The firm, which fell short of employing the 1,300 people it initially promised, announced plans to close toward the end of 2018 and was the subject of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing the next year.

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