Polaris Industries Inc. will lease a good chunk of the former Kmart distribution facility in Shakopee as part of a plan to consolidate vehicle storage from leased warehouses in and around St. Paul, Polaris officials said Thursday.
Under the contract signed May 19, Polaris is leasing 850,000 square feet of the 1.1 million-square-foot Kmart building.
The plan will allow the Medina-based manufacturer to centralize the storage of its raw materials and vehicles. The products — which are headed to select factories, customers, dealers or international markets — are now spread across four to six warehouses, said Polaris spokeswoman Marlys Knutson.
"This allows us to consolidate and become more efficient," she said.
Knutson did not know how much money will be saved by the move. However, the new center's location will certainly speed up distribution time, she said, because products will be close to several highways but away from the more congested city of St. Paul.
The move will not affect Polaris' employment numbers. Currently, the 120 to 140 employees that handle Polaris' stored products work for the warehouse operator Superior Brokerage Services Inc. That arrangement will continue after the move, Knutson said.
The move should be completed in two to three months, she said.
The consolidation is the latest in a series of expansions and efficiency measures exercised by the recreational vehicle maker. Polaris is building a 600,000-square-foot ATV factory in Alabama; a $20 million sales office in Plymouth; and an $11 million second headquarters, also in Plymouth. In January, Polaris purchased the remaining unowned shares of electric motorcycle maker Brammo Inc.
Polaris generated $4.5 billion in sales last year.