Russell Marine to renovate abandoned warehouse

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An artist’s rendering of what the facility will look like.

An artist’s rendering of what the facility will look like.

Russell Marine, which has five locations on Alabama’s Lake Martin, has purchased a commercial building in Alex City, Ala., that will become the company’s new headquarters. The 150,000-square-foot facility used to be a sewing plant for Russell Athletics, which made sweatshirts and sports apparel.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Russell Marine president Dave Commander told Trade Only Today yesterday. “It’s going to take a million dollars just to clean it up, but we were able to get some help from the city that makes it worth it.” All told, it’s estimated that Russell Marine will invest approximately $10 million in the property that is expected to be operational in the spring of 2020.

The two-level building will have a rigging shop and service facility on the bottom floor and the top floor will have a 20,000-square-foot showroom, plus a marine store and design center for new boats. The emphasis will be on the lake lifestyle, Commander said.

Russell Marine has sales and service for Key West, Nautique, Supreme, Sea Ray, Scarab, Aqua Patio, San Pan and Sweetwater boats and Sea-Doo watercraft.

The building was constructed in 1980 and his located on highway 280 that runs between Birmingham and Auburn.

According to a story on the WFSA12 website, Lake Martin covers 44,000 acres and it has an economic impact value of nearly $5 billion annually.

The city and Russell Marine will split the cost for an access road and other incentives were given to the company as well. Commander said there will be at least 20 jobs when the facility opens, adding that the number could double.