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Fast-growing logistics firm buys downtown Cannon IV building

May 24, 2016

A fast-growing third-party logistics company has purchased the downtown Cannon IV property and expects to double its local workforce by hiring 75 employees in the next year.

FitzMark Inc. plans to relocate its headquarters from the northwest side to a 3-acre parcel at 950 Dorman St. It paid about $3 million for the property and expects to invest another $1 million to renovate the building, company founder and CEO Scott Fitzgerald said.

Cannon IV, meanwhile, expects to finalize a deal within the week to lease space on the northeast side near interstates 465 and 69, said Jim Fall, vice president of strategic planning and business development. The distributor of office cartridges should be moved in by early August.
 
Founded in 2006, FitzMark has been on a tear in recent years. By nearly doubling its revenue to $62.3 million from 2012 to 2014, FitzMark last year ranked as the 12th-fastest growing Indianapolis-area private company, according to IBJ statistics.

It also has been honored the past three years as an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company.

FitzMark hopes to move its headquarters from 4620 W. 84th St. to Dorman Street by October. The company plans to occupy 100,000 square feet of leased warehouse space at its current facility near Georgetown Road and West 86th Street, in addition to the 38,900 square feet of office and warehouse space it will have downtown.

The Cannon IV site sits at the entrance of the growing Cottage Home neighborhood just south of East 10th Street and east of interstates 65 and 70. Interstate visibility is one of the factors that attracted FitzMark to the site, Fitzgerald said.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said. “We view it as an investment not only in the company but for the neighborhood.”

In return for its growth plans, FitzMark is set to receive $850,000 in conditional Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, state tax credits, and $75,000 in training grants.

Fitzgerald attributes his company’s growth partly to its proprietary transportation management software.

“It’s just a huge industry,” he said of third-party logistics. “We’re a rather small company, so there’s a lot of opportunity to grow within the industry.”

Fitzgerald hopes the move will help attract young professionals to the company who might be drawn downtown and the host of apartment options there.  

Fitzgerald, a 2002 graduate of Purdue University, worked for a national third-party logistics firm before founding FitzMark four years later. The company has 75 local employees and a total of 115 including offices in Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Orlando, Florida.

FitzMark contracts with independent truck drivers to provide shipping, scheduling and tracking services for such local clients as Telamon Corp., a provider of services to telecom companies and other industries, and Harris & Ford LLC, a distributor of chemicals and ingredients.

Cannon IV’s downtown building, which it built in 2000, is split evenly between offices and warehouse uses.

Fall at Cannon IV declined to specify where the company is moving, because the lease has not been signed. But, like FitzMark, he said interstate visibility is key to operations.

“We need a combination of Class A office space and warehouse space,” he said. “That’s always hard to come by. We were able to find a property that meets our size requirements.”

Fall said he didn’t immediately know the size of Cannon IV’s new location.

The longtime distributor of Hewlett-Packard products put the downtown property on the market because it no longer needed as much warehouse space, company CEO Jerry Jones told IBJ in May 2015.

When the recession hit, Hewlett Packard stopped forcing its dealers to purchase products by the truckload to secure better pricing and instead allowed them to buy in much smaller quantities.

Cannon IV was founded in 1974 by Jones’ father, Richard. He died four years later, leaving Jones in charge. Jones’ three younger brothers also are involved in the business.

The company started downtown, in a building across from Bankers Life Fieldhouse at the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and Maryland streets. In 1980, it bought from Indianapolis Public Schools an old school building at East 30th Street and North College Avenue along Fall Creek Parkway. TWG Development LLC bought the building from Cannon IV and converted it into the Stetson Senior Apartments.  
 

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