Box Factory Anchors NOMA Neighborhood

Indiana Business Journal: Laymen could be forgiven for not immediately grasping the economic potential of the Box Factory building, a 135,000-square-foot monolith that was built in 1920 for the U.S. Corrugated Box Co., which later morphed into Lacy Distributing.

Located at 1411 Roosevelt Ave., just north of the Mass Ave Cultural District, it sat idle for the last couple of decades, full of dust, outdated equipment and blown-out windows.

But over the last two years, the Stenz Construction Corp., Third Street Ventures and Pure Development have undertaken its $25 million renovation.

Finding tenants for a moldering structure in a forgotten corner of an economically stagnant former industrial district might sound like a herculean task. Except that it wasn’t. At least not in the case of one of the Box Factory’s first (and without doubt its biggest) tenants—North Mass Boulder, a roughly 50,000-square-foot, multistory fitness center and restaurant that opened June 19.

“We got a tip about the building from our real estate broker,” said Indianapolis-based North Mass Boulder co-owner Elliot Steward. “We walked in and were just blown away. We hunted all over the country for a space like this. You just don’t find them very often.”

Steward found the building so enticing for the same reason many other tenants, including the law firm Lewis Wagner, did. The location, if you can look past its gritty industrial history, has a lot going for it.

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