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Red Stag Fulfillment to Occupy New Distribution Campus in Sweetwater, Tennessee

Jake Rheude

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Red Stag Fulfillment, LLC, a Knoxville-based eCommerce order fulfillment company, in collaboration with its parent firm, Mollenhour Gross, LLC, is excited to announce the next phase of Red Stag’s growth. A 420-acre site has been assembled in Sweetwater, TN, to host a campus of distribution centers to be operated by Red Stag as it expands its capacity to store, package, and ship products that range widely from furniture to pet food to electronics. While Red Stag participates in complex global supply chains and has clients from all over the world, it was started right here in East Tennessee. “Both Mollenhour Gross and Red Stag are excited about the prospects for continued investment in this region,” said Mollenhour Gross Co-Founder Jordan Mollenhour. 

The proposed rendering of Red Stag's future Sweetwater campus

With direct access to State Route 322 at I-75 Exit 62, the site will have minimal impact on traffic in the area but could quickly become the largest employer and tax-payer in Sweetwater, bringing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars of additional tax revenue, once fully developed.

Red Stag Fulfillment in Sweetwater.

Red Stag is evaluating other sites in the East Tennessee region but has selected the Sweetwater site pending a welcoming atmosphere and collaboration with the community. Red Stag must make a decision quickly to continue meeting the needs of its expanding client base and, while sites in nearby counties are shovel-ready and already zoned for industrial use, the Red Stag team believes that Sweetwater would be a great home for its flagship campus. “If the people of Sweetwater are supportive of this project, our goal as the developer will be to waste no time, break ground this spring, and deliver Building A to Red Stag as soon as possible,” said Jordan.

Red Stag has grown significantly in recent years. It will soon complete an ongoing expansion of its existing Knoxville campus; it will soon expand its presence in Salt Lake City, UT; and it recently announced efforts to open facilities in Pennsylvania and California. The Sweetwater site is being designed to become the largest of Red Stag’s campuses with up to 4.5 million square feet of space. 

The timeline of Red Stag Fulfillment's creation including the new expansion that will include the Sweetwater warehouse.

The Story of Red Stag

In 2008, business partners Jordan Mollenhour and Dustin Gross saw their home building and development company collapse under the weight of the Great Recession, leaving them without a source of income to repay lenders and investors. “At age 27, we learned some tough lessons; we suddenly owed more than the value of the assets we owned,” said Jordan. They spent the next 3 years scraping by and working 100-hour weeks to start new businesses and were ultimately able to repay what was owed and start over. “It was an intense, difficult journey but one that shaped who we are today,” said Dustin. “We are ultimately grateful for the experience and for the lessons learned.”

Results Driven Team

In late 2012, one of those businesses was experiencing frustrations with its outsourced third-party fulfillment vendors that stored and shipped client products (similar to what Red Stag does today). The vendors were not performing as promised, orders were not being shipped on time, and customers were understandably unhappy. Sensing an opportunity to improve the status quo, Mollenhour Gross made the decision to start an order fulfillment company in early 2013 and set out to launch Red Stag Fulfillment. “Our portfolio company had seen three different vendors fail to grow and adapt. We believed those experiences were common and that other eCommerce companies were similarly frustrated,” said Jordan. “That is why Red Stag was started — to be a standout solution for online retailers who want to shine for their customers.”

A team was assembled to launch and lead Red Stag and, since that time, it has been serving clients from all over the world and has been recognized as a consistently top-performing eCommerce order fulfillment company. “Red Stag is part eCommerce, part logistics, part software, and part distribution center,” explained Eric McCollom, President since 2013. “Our team is dedicated to being a model place to work and to serving our clients with excellence — the two go hand-in-hand.”

Site Design & Construction

The rendering below is the preliminary concept of the planned development. Construction will commence with Building A, followed by the development of subsequent buildings as space is required. “Our business continues to grow and our clients will soon need more space,” said Eric. “Our team is excited at the prospect of a distribution campus this close to I-75 and situated so nicely within the surrounding community.” Red Stag Fulfillment Sweetwater Fulfillment Center

The 420-acre site has been assembled from 6 separate tracts and will be tucked between a ridgeline and the interstate. The preliminary plan calls for the site to be accessed by a private road that will intersect State Route 322 only a few hundred feet from the interstate ramp. “It’s hard to imagine a better or safer means of supporting the traffic that will be generated by these jobs,” said Jordan. “The site will be easily accessible, and it will have almost no impact on surrounding traffic patterns.”

The buildings will consist of both office space and warehouse space as well as other amenities to encourage a safe, healthy work environment. The design concept involves pre-engineered steel structures with high-efficiency LED lighting, energy-efficient insulation, engineered automatic fire suppression systems, and many other features that have become best practices in modern, large-scale distribution centers. “We put a lot of thought into making sure that our team has the support and atmosphere they need to facilitate rapid growth while maintaining our brand promises to our clients,” said Eric. “These buildings will be state-of-the-art.”     

Mollenhour Gross (and its affiliates) has been developing property in East Tennessee for over fifteen years, and one of its subsidiaries will develop this site for lease to Red Stag. Knoxville-based Joseph Construction, Inc. will be the general contractor. “A fantastic and proven team of engineers, architects, and advisors are already engaged to ensure that the site is developed responsibly and with an eye towards creating a clean, safe place for Red Stag employees,” said Jordan. “We are also confident in the team at Joseph Construction – they are honest, experienced, and talented folks who know how to keep a project on schedule, on budget, code-compliant, and safe for all involved.” 

“It is important to remember that a project this size involves a great deal of planning that can be impacted by topography, traffic studies, soil studies, surveys, environmental regulations, building codes, and input from dozens of stakeholders, ranging from engineers to public officials,” said Jordan. “Please keep in mind that the project is still under evaluation pending collaboration with local officials and the plans are subject to change. We are providing useful information as it becomes available.”

Economic Impact

While Red Stag is a technology-driven business serving online retailers throughout the world, it relies heavily on its local team members and supportive communities. “There are many stakeholders, and each should know what to expect from our successful collaboration,” said Eric. Aside from creating jobs and career opportunities, Red Stag also generates substantial economic benefits to communities through investments in building projects, equipment, and infrastructure and through its consumption of products and services that may be offered by local providers. A percentage of employees are likely to buy homes within a given community and frequent local restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and similar businesses.

Once complete, the project is expected to increase Sweetwater’s annual tax revenue by an estimated 33% to help fund schools, public services, and first responders.  

The budget estimates below have been compiled to serve as guidance and to emphasize the direct economic impact within the community (Sweetwater, Monroe County, and Tennessee).

Budgeted/Estimated Economic Impact

– $300 million investment
– Hundreds of new employment and career opportunities
– $1.9 million annual tax contributions to Sweetwater
– $3.6 million annual tax contributions to Monroe County
– $3.3 million annual tax contributions to the State of Tennessee

These estimates do not include additional benefits that will arise from increased patronage of local restaurants, retailers, and other businesses within the Sweetwater community that will generate income and further increase the tax base. A portion of the project’s economic impact will be realized almost immediately when construction begins on Building A and the balance will be realized over time as additional buildings are completed. The estimates are based on the entire project, after all of the proposed buildings are completed and operational. No tax credits or other incentives have been requested though some may later apply and impact the estimates shown. The actual rate of development will depend on Red Stag’s growth and capacity requirements at the Sweetwater campus.

Note: Recruiting for the Sweetwater site will not begin until all local government zoning and permitting approvals have been granted and construction has begun, but Red Stag is always seeking good people who desire to work diligently and contribute to a team atmosphere. 

Next Steps

The Mollenhour Gross development team is fully engaged in site design and coordination with Sweetwater officials to obtain the required zoning and permitting approval. “Mayor Doyle Lowe and Planning and Development Department Director Chuck Whited have both been very helpful in coordinating this effort. I look forward to working with them, the City of Sweetwater staff members, and everyone on the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners,” said Jordan. “This is a fantastic opportunity for all involved, and we will need their help to get it done in time.”

Over the coming weeks, the site will remain under evaluation by Red Stag while due diligence is conducted by the development company and while Sweetwater officials vote to approve or disapprove the plans that are presented. “It is important to us that an investment of this size is complementary to and welcomed by a community and its leaders,” said Dustin.

Red Stag is always looking for dedicated, highly-motivated people to join our team, especially to fill out our new warehouse in Sweetwater.

“Having grown up in East Tennessee, we are committed to maintaining an open line of communication and to helping this region become home to firms like Red Stag,” said Jordan. “Updates will be announced periodically as new information becomes available. We simply ask that everyone take the time to understand the project and what it means for the community – it really is an incredible opportunity for Sweetwater and for our native East Tennessee.”

Questions About Red Stag Fulfillment

If you have questions about Red Stag Fulfillment, LLC, please e-mail sweetwater@redstagfulfillment.com or call (423) 251-8329. Red Stag is delighted to bring more jobs and opportunities to East Tennessee and looks forward to sharing those plans with the community.

Questions About Site Development and Construction

If you have questions about the planned site development and construction, please e-mail developer Mollenhour Gross, LLC, at info@mollenhourgross.com or call (865) 280-1748.

About Red Stag Fulfillment

Red Stag Fulfillment is an eCommerce 3PL provider with special expertise in shipping products that are greater than 5 pounds, high-value, or need other types of specialized handling. Founded in 2013, Red Stag Fulfillment offers service guarantees to safeguard customer operations, including a zero shrinkage allowance and paying our customers when an order is not shipped on time, as well as our same-day shipping services. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we elevate expectations by pursuing perfection. Learn more on our website: https://redstagfulfillment.com.

About Mollenhour Gross, LLC

Established in 2004 by local entrepreneurs Jordan Mollenhour (Knoxville) and Dustin Gross (Maryville), Mollenhour Gross is a private investment company that has started, invested in, and acquired numerous businesses. Its decentralized and autonomous portfolio companies are engaged in a variety of industries, including online retail, hospitality, e-Commerce fulfillment, real estate, software, aerospace, and more. For more information, visit https://www.mollenhourgross.com.

Media Kit

Stock photos, concept plans, and brand images are available for distribution upon request. Please send an e-mail to sweetwater@redstagfulfillment.com, and our team will promptly respond.

List of Resource Links 

Red Stag Fulfillment, LLC

Real Estate Development Team

Local Community Partners (shown alphabetically)

Expanded Community Partners (shown alphabetically) 

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