Former AJ Wright building could be sold

News Center 16 has learned about the possible sale of the massive AJ Wright warehouse and distribution center off Sample Street in South Bend.

AJ Wright closed the facility in early 2011 leaving some 600 people out of work.

The building has more than 500,000 square feet and features 88 separate loading docks. The building is relatively new with the completion of construction coming in 2005.

“12 different times we've had folks inquiring about the availability of the property looking into understanding how many truck docks are there to how tall the ceilings was,” said the President of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Rea. “Wouldn’t be surprised to see somebody do something with it, significant, in the near future.

The South Bend Redevelopment Commission has been asked to assist in a possible sale. The request will be considered at a meeting scheduled for Thursday morning.

Deputy Director Don Inks couldn’t reveal who the potential buyer of the building was, but added he “wouldn’t be surprised to see the building sold in the near future.”

The redevelopment commission is being asked to provide an “Estoppel Certificate,” designed to assure any potential buyer that there are no hidden liabilities associated with the property.

In this case, the City of South Bend imposed penalties against the current owner of the building (TJX Companies Inc.) for failing to create as many jobs as promised.

The current owner is still paying its penalties in installments. The Estoppel Certificate assures any interested purchaser that the responsibility for the payments does not pass to the new owner.

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