ROTTERDAM — A massive cold storage warehouse left vacant amid the pandemic’s fallout is gaining a new purpose: Storing and shipping sports drinks.
Kane Logistics out of Pennsylvania has signed a lease for the 228,000-square-foot building in Rotterdam Corporate Park formerly occupied by Railex and Cold Connect.
It will be the storage and shipping point for Nutrabolt sports drinks made and bottled under contract by Adirondack Beverages at the Glenville Business and Technology Park.
And it brings to the area Kane’s parent company, ID Logistics, a 28,000-employee operation based in France with facilities in 18 countries.
The Rotterdam facility joins 32 other logistics sites totaling nearly 10 million square feet operated by ID Logistics across the United States.
Both industrial parks are owned by Galesi Group of Schenectady, but the Rotterdam facility had something the Glenville site does not: a chilled building with 5 acres of floor space, ready for occupancy.
“It’s an important building, very large,” said Ray Gillen, who as head of Schenectady County economic development efforts has been trying for more than two years to try to fill the space. There were many prospective tenants in the booming logistics industry but not many needed cold storage.
No financial incentives were extended for the deal with Kane, but the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority has been providing assistance with the negotiation process.
The plan surfaced earlier this month at a town Planning Commission meeting, but with minimal detail and cloaked under an anonymous LLC name. The parties involved provided more details Tuesday.
“We are very pleased to announce that one of the largest and fastest growing logistics companies in the world has leased the former Railex building,” Anthony Jasenski, chair of the Schenectady County Legislature, said via email. “Just a few weeks after bringing the Momentive Headquarters to Schenectady County, we welcome another global powerhouse ID Logistics to Rotterdam with an exciting partnership that will continue to boost production at Adirondack Beverages in Glenville.”
Building 105 stretches more than 1,000 feet along the train tracks in the Rotterdam Corporate Park. It previously was the eastern terminus of Railex, a railroad express shipper bringing fresh produce from the West Coast to the East Coast.
Union Pacific later acquired Railex and renamed it Cold Connect. The COVID pandemic knocked the legs out from under Cold Connect by scrambling the industries it supplied, Gillen has said, and the railroad abruptly shut it down in 2020, eliminating 500 jobs.
ID Logistics is advertising job openings in Rotterdam now and expects to employ about 50 people when it comes up to speed.
Gillen said Captech Logistics will benefit as its new neighbor sets up operations.
“And it helps Adirondack continue to expand, they’re a very important employer,” he said. Adirondack has more than 300 employees in Glenville, producing drinks under its own name and for other companies.
Nutrabolt is growing sales of its C4 Energy, Cellucor and Xtend brands. The volume of product entailed in Adirondack’s contract was not disclosed, but apparently is significant.
When Kane won the contract to distribute Nutrabolt products in 2015, it noted the temperature-control management and strict first-in, first-out stock rotation the company required of it, to maintain product quality.