In early February, we shared with you our exclusive story about Berkshire Hathaway's recent acquisition of Warren, MI-based MRO distributor Production Tool Supply and resulting formation of Berkshire eSupply, a new wholesaler determined to help empower independent distributors.
At the time of that story, Berkshire eSupply had unveiled some basic facts and figures details about the new entity — including that it has more than 1,000 suppliers; has more than 1 million industrial/MROP products available online, shipped from three distribution centers in Detroit, Los Angeles and Houston. Bus aside from describing the entity's vast array of distributor services, not much else was known specifically about eSupply's plans for those individual DC locations.
Through some digging into city planning documents, more details have emerged about the company's planned new headquarters facility in Novi, MI, a northwest suburb of Detroit. Novi city council meeting documents show eSupply plans to build a $45 million fullfilment center and office facility in the northeast corner of the city, which would create 240 jobs. Feb. 28 Novi Planning Commission meeting notes show that 57 acres of vacant property was approved by the city for a 193,230-square-foot warehouse with mezzanines and an 18,380-square-foot office building, along with 359 parking spaces.
Of the two-level fulfillment center, 136,000 square feet will be warehousing space, 13,650 square feet will be for a distribution center; shipping/receiving will comprise 21,000 square feet; and about 17,000 square feet will be office space.
Final approval for the project is still pending, and a construction timeline hadn't been given. Detroit-based design firms Albert Kahn Associated and Mannik Smith Group are leading the project design, while Novi-based Oliver Hatcher Construction is the construction manager.
Other documents show eSupply is seeking a $5 million tax break from the city over 12 years to aid with site development costs. Hometown Life reported in December that eight other developers passed on the project after a property inspection, citing difficult site development conditions. The tax break eSupply is pursuing would assist with those development costs.
Berkshire eSupply will be exhibiting at the upcoming Industrial Supply Association's annual convention, held April 14-16 in Baltimore. Attendees can stop by booth eSupply's ISA booth, No. 1601, to learn much more about the company's plans going forward.