As reported in Talk Business & Politics:

Whirlpool Corp. has sold its 1.2 million square foot manufacturing plant in Fort Smith to Milwaukee, Wisc.-based Phoenix Investors. Whirlpool closed the refrigerator plant in June 2012, with most production being moved to Mexico.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phoenix’s plans for the facility include collaborating with other logistics and distribution enterprises to offer a centrally located hub for several companies, according to a statement from the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. The deal is the first for Phoenix in Arkansas.

“We now have 1.2 million square feet of space that will actively attract jobs to the community instead of sitting unused,” Tim Allen, Chamber President and CEO, said in the statement. “Add to that a partner who shares our goal of growing and recruiting business and this is a big win for Fort Smith. Phoenix has a solid record of attracting quality tenants and rehabilitating large regional properties. The future for jobs and ancillary capital investment in Fort Smith is bright.”

Phoenix Investors has in recent years expanded its industrial property holdings in the Midwest and Southeastern United States focusing on properties between 200,000 and 2 million square feet. The company’s holdings are now more than 17 million square feet in 22 states.

This acquisition is consistent with Phoenix’s strategy of acquiring industrial properties in need of capital improvements and/or repositioning, and applying our consistent metrics to maximize its potential,

said Gerry Norton, Director of Acquisitions and Leasing for Phoenix Investors.

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool Corp. closed the refrigerator manufacturing plant in June 2012, which at the time employed about 1,000, but was home to more than 4,500 jobs at its peak.Phoenix Investors’ Senior Management includes Frank P. Crivello as Chairman & Founder; David Marks as President & CEO; and Anthony Crivello as Executive Vice President.

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