Lenox warehouse to remain open

Warehouse and store on Commmerce Drive will stay open despite closure in Lawrenceville.

By: Lea Kahn
   The Lenox warehouse and store on Commerce Drive will remain open despite the fine china manufacturer’s plans to move its Lawrenceville headquarters to Bucks County, Pa.
   Lenox Inc. spokeswoman Bethany Bullard said Tuesday the company will not close the warehouse and store, which is located just south of Route 32/Forsgate Drive.
   The warehouse is owned by the Matrix Development Group of Forsgate Drive in Cranbury. The warehouse and the property it is on is valued at $3.9 million and the company paid the township $133,244 in taxes last year.
   However, Lenox Inc., will be closing it’s Lawrence site on 100 Lenox Drive and move across the Delaware River to Bristol, Pa.
   The Lenox Group, which owns Lenox Inc., announced the move Tuesday. The move is expected to take place May 1 when the lease with Brown-Forman Corp. expires, said Ms. Bullard, Lenox Inc.’s director of public relations and advertising.
   Lawrence Township officials said they aren’t happy about the prospect of a long-term corporate resident and employer leaving the township, Lawrence Township Municipal Manager Richard Krawczun said Wednesday morning.
   The move affects 165 employees in the Lawrence Township facility, Ms. Bullard said. Those employees will relocate to the new headquarters in Bristol, Ms. Bullard said. The company’s marketing, sales, product design and development and administrative functions are located in the Lenox Drive building.
   Lenox Inc. is moving into the Island View Crossing office complex, located in Bristol Borough, according to a news release issued by the company. It will become the anchor tenant in the office complex, which is a former Dial soap factory. The move has been in the works last since last summer.
   Lenox Inc. will lease 126,000 square feet of office space at the 183,000-square-foot site for 12 years, with two five-year renewal options, the press release said. The site was redeveloped for office use by Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc., with support from the Buck County Redevelopment Authority, as part of Bristol’s revitalization program.
   Susan Engel, chairman and chief executive officer of Lenox Group Inc., said in the press release that the company worked closely with the Pennsylvania Governor’s Action Team, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority, the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce and PREI to put together the deal.
   "We greatly appreciate the time, commitment and tireless efforts of all concerned who helped make this happen," Ms. Engel said. "We expect to improve productivity by having our design, product development, administrative, sales and marketing functions under one roof in a first-class facility."
   Brown-Forman Corp., which is located in Louisville, Ky., owns the 77,468-square-foot building, according to the Lawrence Township Tax Assessor’s Office. Brown-Forman Corp. plans to sell the Lenox Drive building, according to a statement issued by the company.
   The decision to move was made after Brown-Forman Corp. sold the Lenox unit to Department 56, which is a collectible and giftware company based in Eden Praire, Minn., according to published reports. Department 56 changed its name to the Lenox Group Inc., which owns Lenox Inc.
Staff Writer Joseph Harvie contributed to this story.