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HanesBrands leases 1.2 million square feet at VanTrust's Rickenbacker Exchange building in Commercial Point


Multinational apparel company HanesBrands is leasing more than 1 million square feet at a new industrial park in Pickaway County.

HanesBrands (NYSE: HBI), a North Carolina-based business that owns well-known brands such as Hanes and Champion, signed a long-term lease at Rickenbacker Exchange in the village of Commercial Point, which is being developed by VanTrust Real Estate. Michael Linder of Colliers represented VanTrust as the listing agent, while Brian Knowles, Mike Spencer and Todd Spencer with Lee & Associates represented HanesBrands.

The company is expected to begin operations by the end of this year.

Hanes executed a lease for nearly 1.2 million square feet, and will occupy the entire building at 521 Exchange Way. The property is the newest addition to Rickenbacker Exchange by VanTrust — a Kansas City-based developer that has been especially active in the Central Ohio industrial market. Phil Rasey, vice president of development at VanTrust, told me that Hanes will move in shortly after the building is completed later this year.

"The biggest thing was it met their timing," Rasey said when asked why Hanes landed on this building. "The shell building is done, and then we have tenant improvement work that has started and should be wrapped up by the end of this year. We're working on plans to coordinate those efforts (with Hanes)."

Hanes is upgrading its distribution network, and chose Ohio to align operations with its customer base. The new facility will be utilized as an e-commerce warehouse to service the company's supply chain.

“The location allows us direct access to customers throughout the country, and we look forward to beginning operations later this year," said Jeff Pitts, vice president of global real estate for HanesBrands. "We are pleased to partner with VanTrust and make an investment in the region."

The number of jobs this project will create is unclear. Rasey said he didn't want to speculate on the amount of employees who will ultimately work at the new facility, but said it "should be pretty substantial." Columbus Business First has reached out to Hanes for more information.

VanTrust says this is not only the largest speculative building they have built in the region to date, but it is also the biggest spec project in Central Ohio in 2022. The company cited an Eye on Spec report released last month by CBRE.

The Hanes lease shows there is growing interest in Rickenbacker Exchange, which began in fall 2020 with the first building — a 1-million-square-foot warehouse completed and leased by May 2021. VanTrust broke ground on the second structure Hanes will occupy in June 2021.


The site also has room to grow. VanTrust plans to construct an 860,000-square-foot building on the property, and another parcel is slated for a fourth facility measuring a million square feet. Racey said the next phase of the project will likely break ground next spring.

When fully completed, Rickenbacker Exchange will encompass more than 900 acres. VanTrust controls 300 acres where the four buildings will stand, and other developers have scooped up nearby land for other projects.

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Michael Linder

Senior Executive Vice President


Michael R. Linder, SIOR is a member of the Columbus Industrial Team at Colliers along with Shane Woloshan, SIOR, Joel Yakovac, SIOR, Jonathan Schuen, SIOR,  Kyle Ghiloni, Molly Crosby, and Sydney Sleeper. Mike works with owners and tenants in the leasing, sale, and development of industrial properties, primarily in the southeast and southwest markets. He has been involved in real estate for over twenty years.

Mike is a member of the Colliers Logistics and Transportation Solutions Group (L&T). L&T is a select group of specialists dedicated to delivering focused solutions to the increased challenges of today’s global shipping and transportation community. With the group, he has traveled throughout North America as well as South America on port tours to understand what drives demand to Columbus, Ohio and to set new standards for delivering clients the most advanced resources and service.

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