Spartan Logistics, an Ohio-based logistics and warehouse company with offices in Indiana and South Carolina, will move into the former Whirlpool plant when it expands to Fort Smith.
Tim Allen, President of the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce, said "logistically" Fort Smith and the Whirlpool property were a great fit for the company looking to grow beyond the Midwest.
"I think where we're located in the U.S. opens the other markets for them to serve," said Allen.
According to its website, Spartan Logistics specializes in handling food-grade materials, glass, paper and fragile/high volume products. The company already conducts business with Owens Corning in Fort Smith.
“It is exciting when businesses decide to relocate or expand in our community because it can only make it stronger," said Owens Corning Fort Smith plant leader Manish Dalvi. "Having one of our current partners, Spartan Logistics, move into the area can only benefit the economy and make it easier to work together."
Spartan Logistics will occupy the former distribution center at the plant, according to Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders.
"(The distribution facility) is designed for a company like Spartan Logistics for warehousing, for movement of product in and out, and distribution throughout the country," said Sanders.
Allen said the building is approximately 600,000 square feet which will allow Spartan Logistics to grow or other tenants to move in as well.
"We see the multi-tenant model being the right fit for that Whirlpool property because it's so large."
Allen said it's still too early in the process to know exactly when Spartan Logistics will move into the Whirlpool facility or the number of potential jobs the expansion could bring to the area, but he said he's shown the nearly two million square foot plant to six potential tenants during the past year.
"We're happy to see activity on that property which is a great step forward," said Allen.
The Whirlpool property has been at the forefront of discussion since it was revealed that a chemical leaked from the plant nearly 30 years ago and contaminated the groundwater beneath the plant and the neighborhood to the north. Click here to read more about the investigation into the chemical leak.