• Cecile Corral

Trans-Ocean breaks ground on new VA facility

SUFFOLK, VA -Area rug manufacturer Trans-Ocean Import Inc., after almost two decades of leasing facilities for warehousing and distribution purposes, has opted to build its own center here.

On a 15-acre plot, construction has begun for a 100,800-square-foot building that is "bigger than any of the facilities we've used before," said Allan Wagenheim, chairman. More than half of the property will remain vacant "in the event we need to expand and build additions later," Wagenheim added.

Completion for the facility was originally scheduled for this month but has been extended to April.

Trans-Ocean, founded in 1908, imports from China, India and Europe a broad range of lower-end synthetics to upscale, 100 percent wool rugs that range in retail from $9.99 to $5,000. Wagenheim would not specify the number of skus the new facility can store, only to say, "We can handle every major retailer in the U. S."

Trans-Ocean, which just recently was leasing a facility in Chesapeake, VA, chose to build its new site in Suffolk because of its proximity to Port of Hampton, through which the company distributes its wares to retailers throughout the U. S.

"We never had a need to own what we could lease," said Wagenheim, who added that the new site is the third Virginia facility the company has moved to in the 20 years it has conducted warehousing services.

"But with today's technological advances, a facility that met our needs was not available. That's why we decided to build our own," he said.

At the new facility, all storage, shipping, receiving and distributing services will be handled for Trans-Ocean, which is based in White Plains, NY.

According to a press release drafted by the City of Suffolk, VA, the new facility will employ 25 people with an estimated capital investment of $3 million.

The city's mayor, Curtis Milteer, was quoted in the release as saying, "Once again Suffolk has attracted a well-respected company that will benefit from our strategic location and excellent port facilities."

The site is being developed on Suffolk Industrial Park, a master-planned, rail-served, 150-acre park with both Virginia Enterprise Zone and Foreign-Trade Zone designations, qualifying Trans-Ocean for an array of state and local tax credits and job grants for positions.

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home & Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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