VOLNEY — A previously forlorn warehouse in the town of Volney will be home to the newest fulfillment center of home decor giant MacKenzie-Childs, company officials have announced.
The Aurora-based manufacturer, known for their hand-crafted ceramics products and furniture, chose to lease the Volney location at 123 Great Bear Road — which formerly housed a distribution facility owned by glass container manufacturing Owens-Illinois — as part of their expansion plan. Officials with the company noted the warehouse will undergo “substantial renovations and upgrades” to meet the retailer’s needs as a shipping facility that could fulfill orders for customers all over the globe.
Among the renovations planned for the 200,931-square-foot facility — which a MacKenzie-Childs spokesperson told The Palladium-Times will start this week — are a new parking lot and vehicle entrance for employees, along with interior amenities such as enhanced insulation, lighting and the creation of a wide office space.
Officials noted while the timeline for a fully operational warehouse suggests a date of May 2020, major wholesale shipping from the Volney facility will start as early as January next year.
“The Volney warehouse facility will be an excellent site to house our growing fulfillment operations for years to come,” MacKenzie-Childs Director of Supply Chain James Miller said in a statement. “We are pleased to be moving to this location and look forward to being fully operational very soon.”
L. Michael Treadwell, the president of Operation Oswego County (OOC) — the county’s Industrial Development Agency — called the expansion an “excellent project.”
“They are going to initially accommodate for 50 jobs and long term — meaning in a couple of years — approximately 100 jobs,” Treadwell said in a Wednesday interview. “It is a very important project. It is a great reutilization of the building and it is bringing in jobs.”
Initially, the company was looking for a potential expansion target within 30-miles of its Auburn facility, Treadwell said. Aside from the nearby location, labor force was one of pull factors the company explored, according to Treadwell.
“The County Employment Training Office helped out with some information and that satisfied (MacKenzie-Childs), they felt the labor force was there,” he said.
Treadwell also noted it is important for the county and OOC to be associated with a big brand name such as MacKenzie-Childs.
As far as financial incentives for the Cayuga County-based company, Treadwell said there have been no discussions at this time, but noted the developer could potentially ask for financing to help developing some of the enhancements to the warehouse.
Volney Town Supervisor Dennis Lockwood praised the move, noting the economic development opportunities it may bring to the town.
“It’s a great move. It has been an abandoned warehouse and it has been empty for god knows how many years” Lockwood told The Palladium-Times Wednesday. “Anything that brings in employment is good for the area and for the city of Fulton. The whole area needs employment.”
Founded in 1983, MacKenzie-Child is an internationally recognizable brand whose chequered patterns have found a home on many Oswego County tables. The company is headquartered in the tiny village of Aurora on the shores of Cayuga Lake. The annual summertime MacKenzie-Childs barn sale draws visitors from all corners of the state and beyond.