WESTVILLE – Thanks to the combined efforts of government and business leaders, a once-vacant Westville warehouse is seeing new life.
Several dozen public and business officials celebrated the opening of the recently completed Midwest Trade Center – at the south junction of U.S. 6 and U.S. 421 – at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour Tuesday. The more than 680,000-square-foot facility will serve as the home of a soon-to-open Dollar General distribution center, with plenty of space for other businesses.
NorthPoint Development, based out of Kansas City, Missouri, has spent the past several months renovating the former SpartanNash warehouse, which had sat vacant since 2016. The company spent $24 million, hiring mainly local contractors to repair, repaint and perform other updates to the 91-acre site, constructed in 1980.
The development firm – which owns warehouse space in 16 states – has worked to transform the Westville property since late last year, according to CEO Nathaniel Hagedorn. La Porte County and Westville officials worked with NorthPoint on the project, with the La Porte County Council granting a five-year tax abatement in September.
Council President Randy Novak, speaking at the ceremony, mentioned that returning to the warehouse felt like "coming full circle." He worked at the facility when Eagle Food operated a distribution center there in 1981.
"We're just so thrilled to have everybody back here, to have the building up and going again, to see some life in this building," Novak said.
Dollar General, which will use the building as its Midwest Distribution and Logistics facility, also helped in the resurrection. The company poured more than $8.5 million into constructing the more than 282,000-square-foot space it will use in the property's massive temperature-controlled storage area.
The new facility continues the Dollar General's commitment to La Porte County, where it has operated stores for the past 30 years, said Rod West, vice president of perishables growth and development.
"We are proud to serve the community and county, and we look forward to being a part of it for many, many years to come," West said.
The retailer recently finished construction of the warehouse and is expected to begin the hiring process soon. The center is expected to create 80 to 90 new jobs, La Porte County Board of Commissioners President Vidya Kora said.
The Midwest Trade Center reflects the county's commitment to job creation, he said.
"La Porte County, through the office of economic development, will work very closely with you to realize the full potential of this project," Kora told NorthPoint and Dollar General representatives.
"Not only that, we would like to see you feel so welcome here that you will consider starting other projects in this county because we are a very friendly people and a very friendly place to do business."
In addition to Dollar General, Run-Rite Trucking has leased more than 40,500 square feet of space inside the warehouse. The facility has more than 380,000 square feet of floor space still available, along with office space on the second floor.