SPRINGFIELD — The existing space will grow by over 300,000 square feet.

Springfield Underground is used by companies to store all kinds of goods throughout their existing 2.5 million square feet of space.

But with demand for storage rising, the underground says that’s not enough. 

With all of their space currently leased, John Griesemer says that expansion was a must. Griesemer is President and CEO of the Erlen Group, which owns the Springfield Underground. 

“So we started about a year and a half ago planning for an expansion of about 320,000 square feet,” says Griesemer. “We’re getting a lot of calls for industrial space. There’s not a lot of available industrial space, high ceiling with good truck access today. We’re building this so we can free up some of our other space available for new clients.” 

He says the idea is that they will use it to store food for a large national company they are currently in negotiation with, but some of their existing clients will benefit as well. 

“We have a couple of clients in smaller buildings, separate buildings so they can move together into one, and then we’ve got space available for lease then.”

“Most of our storage is food storage,” says Griesemer. 

Griesemer says the underground space is a big advantage for a lot of reasons. 

“We’re 62 degrees year round down here. If we refrigerate a building, we don’t have very far to lower the tempereature to get to 36 degrees, which is the tempereature of your home refrigerator,” Griesemer says.

But with 8 different clients, they do more than store food. 

“Medical or legal paper records. We also have data storage, electrical components, and other ancillary uses,” Griesemer explains. 

The space being used for an expansion was previously a mining operation, but the expansion required some explosion.

“Some of the rock columns that were left made sense for the mining operation, but they didn’t make sense for truck access, truck docks, and office space. We had to do some blasting to trim, or realign some of those columns,” says Griesemer.

That consolidation, along with some clients exiting, will free up a couple of 100,000 square foot spaces that will be available in the next couple of months.

That project will cost between $10-$12 million, and should be completed by the summer. 
There is also some construction taking place above ground out at the facility with the addition of a new command center. 

Think of it like a rest stop area. They get trucks in and out of their facility from all over the country. The new building will be an amenity for those making the deliveries to the clients using storage one hundred feet underground.