New owner of former AJ Wright building revealed

The massive South Bend building that once housed AJ Wright and some 600 workers—now has a new owner and a new name.

The sale of the abandoned structure at 1902 Sample Street closed today.

South Bend based Holladay Properties bought the building with help from an out of state silent partner.

The new owners won’t actually use the building but they vote to lease it to someone who will.

“I’d love to be able to tell you we have leases in place, we don’t,” said Holladay Properties CEO John Phair.

But the new owners have come up with a new name for the building—Interstate 80 Commerce Center, and they have high hopes that up to 300 people will be employed there by the time all the space is leased.

“We have been showing the building off and on for about 60 days and we proceeded with the closing because we obviously felt strongly that it would fill up soon,” said John Phair.

Phair says it’s not only the biggest building of its kind in the market at 500,000 square feet, it’s also the “best.”

“The office space is first class, all of the furnishings have been left behind, it’s kind of in move-in, walk-in condition,” said Phair. “The warehouse has all the little things that we love to see that are expensive to add and that includes a first class fire and safety system.”

While Phair couldn’t name a specific tenant at this point, he did talk about the type of company he would expect to be interested in the building.

“A distribution center typically for a retail product, Amazon has done four buildings in the state of Indiana up until now. I wish we were announcing that today, we aren't, but that's typical of your question you know, who is coming,” Phair said.

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