BEDFORD, Texas – Illinois-based Rock Island Auction Co. has started construction on its future home in Texas, a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of a 127,121-sf retail center conveniently situated in the heart of Dallas/Fort Worth.
The redevelopment is a 12-month undertaking to open the door for the world’s leading firearms auction house to expand, and possibly relocate its Midwest headquarters, to 3600 E. Harwood Rd. in Bedford. Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services, which led the two-year site search, will lease and manage the 11-acre retail center.
“Texas is Rock Island’s leading market for sales. It’s the ideal location for the company’s move, given the state’s customer base and its globally recognized business-friendly climate,” says Noah Dodge, market director of Dallas-based Bradford.
Rock Island’s off-market acquisition features a vacant 85,899-sf big box, formerly a Wal-Mart and most recently a call center, that will be extensively renovated into a high-end showcase for its premier inventory, including unique pieces of armaments. The build-out calls for a 25,000-sf showroom, 5,000-sf auction hall, secure vault and dedicated space for office, reception, IT and shipping.
The site includes a 41,222-sf strip center, also in line for renovation and re-tenanting. Dodge and his partner, Jason Finch, a Bradford first vice president, represented Rock Island in the acquisition and will be leasing the available retail space.
Rock Island’s Illinois auction house and headquarters will remain intact for the foreseeable future although three of its top C-suite executives are now DFW residents or soon will be. The company, founded in 1993, expects it will take a few years to reach full capacity in Bedford. The initial hiring projection is at least 80 full- and part-time jobs.
Key to the Bedford acquisition is the location – midway between Dallas and Fort Worth and close to DFW International Airport and Love Field. Also nearby is an abundance of hotels and entertainment venues. Amy Pjetrovic and Ryan Smith of Venture Commercial Real Estate represented the seller, TKG Harwood Development.
“Rock Island’s auctions attract customers from all over the world for the four-day events,” Dodge says. “It’s extremely important to be centrally located and easily accessible.”
A Rock Island auction typically draws 400 to 600 people. The company hosts more than a dozen gun auctions annually, resulting in record-breaking sales year after year. Its 2021 auction volume topped $121 million. Napoleon’s presentation garniture of six arms account for $2.875 million at December’s auction, one of 21 held last year.
Rock Island specializes in premier and collectible firearms, bladed weapons and miltaria. In addition to Napoleon’s garniture, the 2021 auction list included Alexander Hamilton’s flintlock holster pistols and epaulettes, which commanded $1.15 million; an L.D. Nimschke-engraved solid silver Winchester model 1866 rifle that brought $977,500; and Colt single-action Army revolvers that belonged to John Wayne ($517,500) and Bat Masterson ($488,750, including the holster rig).
Other sales highlights are listed on the Rock Island Auction Co. website.
Available Retail Space near the new Rock Island Auctions – click here