The former Wildwood Industries plant in at 903 S. Morrissey Ave. in Bloomington, Ill., has been converted into a mixed-use complex offering self-storage as well as business-incubator and office space. Morrissey Drive Self-Storage opened last week, but the office component has yet to be named, according to the source. The 156,000-square-foot building currently provides 10,000 square feet of office space, 45,000 feet of storage and 55,000 of warehouse space that can be used for light manufacturing, said owner and developer Scott Garth.

February 23, 2016

2 Min Read
Wildwood Industries Plant Becomes Self-Storage and Office Complex in Bloomington, IL

The former Wildwood Industries plant in at 903 S. Morrissey Ave. in Bloomington, Ill., has been converted into a mixed-use complex offering self-storage as well as business-incubator and office space. Morrissey Drive Self-Storage opened last week, but the office component has yet to be named, according to the source. The 156,000-square-foot building currently provides 10,000 square feet of office space, 45,000 feet of storage and 55,000 of warehouse space that can be used for light manufacturing, said owner and developer Scott Garth.

“We opened last week, but really haven’t done much yet with promotion,” Garth told the source. “So we still have a few things to work on, but it took us more than a year to get to this point and we are very happy with the progress.”

The city didn’t provide any incentives for the renovation, according to the source. “It cost several million dollars, but my employees and I put a lot of work ourselves into it, so an exact dollar amount on what it took to get to this point is hard to say,” Garth said. “There was a lot of concrete work that had to be done and it took us a long time. There are a ton of man hours in this.”

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and several of the city’s economic-development leaders toured the property last week. “It’s a unique facility. He took a dilapidated property and turned it into something fantastic,” Renner said.

“It shows you don’t have to keep building outside of the community walls. You can find some treasures inside the community as well, and that is what he found here,” added Kyle Ham, CEO of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council, which offers programs and resources to local businesses.

The incubator and office space could also lead to new jobs and business opportunities for residents, said Charlie Moore, president of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. “I see a lot of potential here. It’s been very well done, and it leads to a very professional business setting and atmosphere.”

The single-story brick building has served as an assembly plant and warehouse for many businesses since it opened 71 years ago. Leaf- and vacuum-bag manufacturer Wildwood Industries vacated it in 2009 after the company went bankrupt. Owners Gary and Toni Jo Wilder were charged and sentenced the following year for defrauding more than $213 million from lenders to fund manufacturing equipment that didn’t exist, according to the FBI.

Sources:

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