Russell Brands Wetumpka Site Acquired by Phoenix Investors

Aerial view of Russell Brands site in Wetumpka
Photo courtesy Phoenix Investors

Real estate investment firm Phoenix Investors has acquired the Russell Brands site in Wetumpka, praising the facility’s “robust infrastructure” and “excellent quality” construction.

Russell Brands made sports equipment and clothing for its various brands at the site for a number of years, starting in the mid-1990s. But the publicly traded company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Fruit of the Loom in 2006, and the plant closed in 2013.

The facility includes 891,000 square feet of industrial space on a 102-acre site.

In announcing the acquisition, Phoenix Investors talks not only about the property but about the industrial advantages in Elmore County — “no inventory or occupational taxes, boasting a strong workforce and supported by twelve local colleges and universities.” In addition, it has good interstate access, robust loading facilities, parking and available land for expansion.

Phoenix plans “strategic improvements” to enhance its desirability for prospective tenants, said Frank P. Crivello, chairman and founder of Phoenix Investors.

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Commissioner Bart Mercer, who serves as county liaison to ECEDA, said, “Elmore County is excited that Phoenix Investors has decided to add the former Russell plant to their portfolio. Their business model is a perfect fit to create a successful solution for this property.”

Cary Cox, executive director of the ECEDA, praised Russell Corp. as well as the new investors. “First, we would like to thank Russell Corporation for their past support and maintaining the building and grounds in great condition. This immense property fits a certain niche, as most companies cannot utilize a building of this size. Phoenix Investors’ willingness to lease portions of the building is a game changer. We have tenants that are interested and hopefully will have some announcements soon.”

Phoenix Investors is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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