Massive Rogue Fitness Facility Starting to Take Shape in Milo-Grogan
The scale of what is being built at the southwest corner of East Fifth and Cleveland avenues is beginning to sink in, both for neighbors of the site and for the many people who pass through the busy intersection on a daily basis. Enormous concrete walls show the footprint of what will eventually be a 600,000 square foot building housing the manufacturing, distribution, office and retail operations of Rogue Fitness.
Ashley Felger Smith of Rogue said that distribution out of the new facility could begin as soon as this fall, with a goal of full completion by the second quarter of 2017. At that time as many as 500 employees could be working at the site.
And while there is still a wide range of opinions in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood about the project, Rogue sees it as an extension of the company’s overall mission, which centers on the importance of American manufacturing and its potential to lift up and sustain communities.
“We think our 450-500 team members will have a substantial impact to the surrounding community and to Columbus,” said Felder Smith. “We are very excited to be a part of Milo-Grogan and to bring life back to the old Timken site.”
Felger Smith also said that the company is committed to working with neighborhood leaders to get the word out about employment opportunities at the new facility.
“We have been attending the Milo-Grogan Area Commission meeting each month and will continue to be involved,” she said. “We currently have 50-plus job openings and have encouraged those interested to apply now…and as Rogue grows, we plan on creating even more opportunities.”
New renderings of the campus provided by Rogue show a brick building with traditional, factory-style windows built up against Cleveland Avenue. Rogue also controls about three acres of land along Fifth Avenue that are not a part of the campus currently under construction, but has yet to make any plans for future development on that portion of the site.
Whether or not the new campus brings the type of energy back to the neighborhood that the Timken Company once provided – when three shifts of several thousand workers, many of whom walked to work, streamed in and out of the factory every day – there is plenty of optimism about the project.
“It is a really important and unique urban project,” said Mark Lundine, the city’s Economic Development Administrator. “The City of Columbus is very excited for the company, the community and its impact on the city.”
For more information on Rogue Fitness, including a list of available jobs, see www.roguefitness.com.
Rendering provided by Rogue Fitness. Photos by Walker Evans.