DURHAM — A Raleigh maker of socks, shoelaces, hosiery and other shoe- and foot-related products will move into larger space, combine its operations under one roof and leave room to grow.
Implus Footcare has signed a 10-year lease for a new 262,940-square-foot headquarters and distribution center at 2001 T.W. Alexander Drive in Durham.
Such a large warehouse deal is a highlight in times when commercial real estate leasing is slowing down.
Construction will begin immediately on the now-empty 26-acre lot. Work is expected to be completed in August 2009. The property is owned by The Keith Corp. of Charlotte.
When the new building is ready, Implus will consolidate its offices and distribution operations there.
Implus products are sold under several brand names, including Sof Sole, Sof Comfort, Airplus and apara. They are distributed to 50,000 stores in North America and in 65 countries.
Currently, Implus leases 85,000 square feet of space in Globe Center in Northwest Raleigh, plus 50,000 square feet of warehouse space on Miami Boulevard in Durham and some additional space in Roxboro.
"It's pretty crowded here right now," President Todd Vore said. "This will allow us to account for further expansion, too."
In the past two years, Implus created a new hosiery division and leased the warehouse space in Durham. In May, the company was purchased by AEA Investors of New York. Its revenue in 2007 was $74 million, more than triple what it was in 2001.
Since that acquisition, the company's employment has grown to 130 from 103, and Vore said expanding into the new offices will likely mean the addition of more employees next year.
The move may also be smart because of the current state of the economy, said Scott Stankavage of GVA Advantis, who brokered the deal.
"There's a lull in the development business, and the law of supply and demand is that when there's a lot of demand, prices are high. When there's less demand, prices are lower," he said. "It was a very attractive and compelling transaction."
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