Coleman Company, Inc.

W.C. Coleman could see the light for the darkness. The young salesman was taking a stroll after a hard day’s work selling typewriters, and spotted a new type of lamplight in a drugstore window in Brockton, Alabama. This new light burned with a strong, steady white flame and was fueled by gasoline. The standard lamp of the era burned kerosene and produced a smoky, flickering, yellowish light. W.C. was stricken with very poor eyesight, and was very interested in this new, steady white light that enabled him to read even the smallest print in books and on medicine bottles. Coleman saw potential in the new light, and through his vision a new company was born that would put America’s farms and ranches in a new light, and would eventually make his name synonymous with outdoor fun.

The Coleman Company, Inc. added many recognizable brands to our family of goods after the dawn of the new century. Under the Coleman tent, you’ll now find Sevylor® floats and towables, Stearns® life vests, Mad Dog Gear® ATV accessories, Helium® sports vests and AeroBed® airbeds. It’s a challenge to outfit yourself for outdoor fun and not have something from the Coleman® family of products with you.

What started out as a lamp that could light up four corners of a barn has become a company that has helped light all four corners of the globe. Coleman products have journeyed deep in the Sahara desert, and been along on treks all the way to the South Pole. Coleman lanterns guided aircraft to safe landings in the Andes Mountains in South America in the 1920s, and helped climbers reach the top of Mt. Everest in the next century. Hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, four-wheeling, relaxing, tailgating…Being in the outdoors has so much to offer, and Coleman has everything to help you get out there.

Location: Midwest Commerce Center, 175th Street and Interstate 35, Gardner
Size: 1.1 million square feet
Value: $35 million
Players: Developers, LS Commercial Real Estate Inc., USAA Real Estate Co.; architect, Forum Inc.; engineers, Peridian Group Inc., Alper Audi Inc.; general contractor, Clayco Inc.; brokers, LS Commercial, Kessinger/Hunter & Co. LC, Hart Corp.
Description: A contemporary, high-tech facility that consolidated several Coleman Co. Inc. operations.
New concepts: Coleman incorporated cutting-edge technology in the new center, said Jerry Fogel, co-chairman of Kessinger/Hunter.

“They have benefits you really only get in a new building,” he said. “You design these systems into the building — electronic reads in the floors, automated systems that are robotic.”
The new facility also created opportunities for energy savings, such as motion sensors on the interior to turn lights on and off, a specially painted roof to reflect light and other environmental design features, Coleman spokeswoman Joan Carter said.

Location: Coleman chose its location near the proposed Logistics Park Kansas City, BNSF Railway Co.’s rail-truck intermodal hub project in Edgerton, because of the efficiency that’s added to its distribution system, Fogel said. “It’s efficient in money and time,” he said. “You can actually take it off the boat, put it on the train, and three days later have it in Kansas City for redistribution throughout this part of the world.”

Building challenges: “Kansas City does have a winter season, and it has to be dealt with,” Fogel said. “We sat there when we were doing the design and timeline on this thing, and everybody just sort of nodded their heads at winter. But it was more than that. It was just terrible. It really did slow us down.”

Despite the bad weather, Fogel gave kudos to St. Louis builder Clayco for making the project come in on schedule.

  • 17150 W Mercury St, Olathe, KS 66061Cross Streets: Near the intersection of W Mercury St and W Old US-56
    • Construction is nearing completion on a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center for Coleman Co. Inc. in the Midwest Commerce Center, at 175th Street and U.S. Highway 56 in Gardner. LS Commercial is developing Midwest Commerce Center in conjunction with USAA Real Estate Co.
      Existing projects that will benefit from the improved access include New Century AirCenter, a large multimodal business park; Midwest Commerce Center, which is home to Coleman Co. Inc.’s 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center; and I-35 Logistics Park, at 155th Street and Old Highway 56.