Circle Centre Mall in downtown Indianapolis has landed a new tenant that may signal the refocused future of the beleaguered retail hub. Indianapolis-based Direct Connect Logistix is moving its corporate headquarters into the former Nordstrom location and has plans to add over a hundred jobs. DCL will occupy 52,000 square feet to accommodate the company’s growth resulting from two acquisitions this past spring.
“We are excited to be part of the rebirth of Circle Centre and downtown Indianapolis,” said DCL President Nick Likens.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Likens said this move could serve as a model for other businesses to follow DCL’s lead.
“We’ve had our roots in the downtown community for a long time. Obviously, Circle Centre Mall has had its ups and downs. And we wanted to be a part of bringing some life back down to the center of Indianapolis,” said Likens. “We believe we can retain, recruit, bring in talent to the downtown area.”
LISTEN: Likens explains how this move reflects what the mall ownership group may be trying to do long term for the 27 year old property.
In April, DCL merged with Hoosier Logistics where Likens served as chief operating officer. In February, the company acquired Utah-based Performance Logistics. Together the logistics provider has doubled its workforce and annual revenues in the last year. The company currently employs 260 workers and plans include expanding that employee level to 400 in the next year.
“This location will provide the foundation for several new growth initiatives as we look to access an educated, diverse and growing talent pool,” said Rich Piontek, DCL’s chief executive officer. “ The new space ensures the company is best positioned to attract and retain the best employees while continuing to deliver the highest quality of service and responsiveness to our customers.”
Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) divested its 15% ownership stake in the mall earlier this year. In February, Circle Centre Development Co., a limited partnership of 17 business and corporate investors, solicited ideas from a group of architectural firms on how to overhaul the shopping center.
“This is evidence that the mall’s location is still in incredible demand downtown, and as we look forward to redevelopment options, it’s an indication that other uses like office can succeed in Circle Centre’s location,” said Adam Collins, attorney for Wallack Somers & Hass in Indianapolis, which represents the ownership group.
A specific timeline for potential redevelopment has been not given, nor what the mall property plans will eventually entail. Our partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal previously reported proposals have included multifamily housing, additional street-level retail and entertainment.
Economic development officials are encouraged by the potential growth and turnaround for the property.
“This is exciting because it is bringing hundreds of high-paying jobs to downtown Indianapolis and breathing new life into Circle Centre,” said Portia Bailey-Bernard, vice president of economic development at Indy Chamber. “To have a national leader grow its headquarters in the heart of the city is a statement and highlights the commitment to restoring underutilized commercial space in Indianapolis.”
Renovation work is already underway, according to Likens. While not sharing a specific dollar amount, he says the investment is “multi-million.” The new headquarters will utilize an open-concept floor plan, doubling the company’s current square footage, collaboration rooms, and a full-service gym. The company plans to make the move in December.
“I hope the large presence and growth of our company will not only show our commitment to the community but also attract other organizations to invest in and consider downtown as a corporate location,” said Likens.
Likens says DCL also has the first right of refusal for another similar-sized space in the mall which would allow for additional growth over the next two-to-three years.
“We’re investing in the long-term growth in downtown Indianapolis and looking forward to providing opportunities… for our employees and potential [job] candidates.”
This is DCL’s second move in about five years. In 2018, the company relocated its headquarters to its current site on Michigan Avenue from a previous spot inside the historic Stutz Building.