Longtime Dot Ave. manufacturing plant is for sale

Image courtesy CBRE/New England

A longtime manufacturing plant a stone's throw from Savin Hill T Station is now on the market after an August sale to an out-of-state company, the Reporter has learned. James Russell Engineering Works Inc., located at the corner of Dorchester Ave. and Dewar Street, was sold to Ohio-based Worthington Industries in August.

This week, a listing for the two-acre property at 9 Dewar St. appeared on the website of the commercial real estate firm CBRE/New England. In its marketing material, the realtor says that the three existing single-story buildings on the site— totaling 37.500 square feet of space— will be vacant “by mid-2016.”

A description of the property on the real estate website says, “This site has frontage on Dorchester Avenue and is an excellent redevelopment opportunity.”

The property is presently zoned for local industrial and is located in a Neighborhood Shopping Subdistrict. A brochure on the CBRE/New England site describes it as a “potential hard-corner retail location of 135 feet of frontage on Dot Ave. and 20,000 car trips/day.” It also notes that the site is located five blocks from the Savin Hill MBTA station. There is no set asking price, according to CBRE/New England.

The family-owned Russell plant has long been considered a pioneer in the manufacturing of cryogenic transport trailers for hauling LNG and other gas products. The company itself dates back to 1874 and had 32 employees at the time of its sale to Worthington, a metals manufacturing company.

According to a press release issued by Worthington Industries last summer, Russell “historical annual” sales were $5-8 million. Worthington claims to employ approximately 10,000 people in 80 facilities located in 10 countries.

The property is located squarely in what has suddenly become one of the neighborhood’s most dynamic quarters in terms of redevelopment. Two weeks ago, the headquarters of the printing company Spire, located at 65 Bay St. next to Savin Hill station, was advertised for sale for an asking price of $13.9 million. Just this week, a development team unveiled a preliminary plan to build an apartment building and several other residential properties on the Dorchester Ave. block that faces the Russell Engineering headquarters.

The Russell plant abuts the Boston Public School’s East Zone Resource Center and a sprawling bus depot that services a large percentage of the city’s fleet of yellow school buses.

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