ROTTERDAM — A huge empty cold storage warehouse at the Rotterdam Corporate Park will be the focus of a renewed marketing effort.
National Grid, the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and the Galesi Group, owner of the industrial park, said last week they were investing a combined $20,000 in the campaign.
Starting in 2006, the warehouse in question was the regional terminus of Railex, a rail shipping operation that rushed fresh produce across the country in refrigerated freight cars. The building has more than 228,000 square feet of floor space, over 100,000 square feet of which is cooled, and served as a waypoint for final distribution to wholesale consumers in the Northeast.
Union Pacific acquired Railex in 2017 and incorporated it into its Cold Connect service, but it abruptly shut down Cold Connect in May amid the COVID crisis, which sidelined much of the restaurant industry, the main market for the fruits and vegetables it rushed from the West Coast.
Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen said Wednesday that more than 300 people lost their jobs in Rotterdam due to the closure. But the space it vacated has active prospects for new use, he added.
The logistics industry is booming and warehouse space is in demand. Gillen said the former Cold Connect facility could be operated as a non-refrigerated space, but the plan at this point is to market it as cold storage. There is demand for refrigerated space, he added, though not quite as much as for frozen space.
The building also has 41 truck doors and a train track that runs right into the building.
National Grid, which had a big customer in Railex and Union Pacific, is contributing $10,000 to the marketing effort through its Cooperative Business Recruitment Program; Galesi and Metroplex are contributing $5,000 each.
The marketing effort will also seek tenants for a 200,000-square-foot warehouse under construction by Galesi Group. A recently completed 250,000-square-foot building at the park is now occupied by FedEx and Home Depot.