Chicago Firm Buys Steelcase Plant
KENTWOOD — First it was the old Kelvinator building. Then it was the enormous Bosch plant. And now it's a vast Steelcase facility.
In roughly eight years, Franklin Partners LLC has purchased about 2 million square feet of vacant industrial space in the metro
Back in 1997, Franklin Partners marked its entry here by buying and later selling the Kelvinator plant at
Now Franklin Partners plans to close next month on a Steelcase manufacturing building at
"Our goal is to bring new jobs to
Shoemaker and McCormick are using the same local team that helped them buy and convert the former Bosch plant for the Steelcase transaction. Grubb & Ellis/Paramount, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, and A.J. Veneklasen Inc. are respectively assisting with the purchase, design and construction aspects of the deal.
"This team has had tremendous success with the redevelopment of the former Bosch plant, where more than 80 percent of the space has been leased, and we expect the same results with this new venture," said Shoemaker.
The strategy Franklin Partners has for the Steelcase building will follow the tactic the firm used on the Bosch plant, namely some reconstruction and division of the space.
"It splits pretty well into about four different-sized spaces. We can go about as small as 100,000 square feet," said Shoemaker. "So our plans are to divide the space, to build new entrances and offices. We really treat buildings like they are build-to-suits."
John Kuiper, a vice president and industrial specialist with Grubb & Ellis/Paramount, said interested tenants can check out the building now.
"The building shows extremely well and we will continue to do some improvements after the closing date. Tours are readily available," he said.
The single-story Steelcase building, which opened in 1987, has 11 loading docks, 5 drive-in doors and 24-foot-high ceilings. The structure, situated on M-37 just north of M-6, also has 12,000 square feet of office space and is heated by a forced air system.
"It's very easy to differentiate this building from the typical warehouse-type property. It has really great infrastructure. It has good clear height and good power. It's an attractive facility with nice office space. It's unlike any other product on the market," said Shoemaker.
Rent at the building is expected to run from $3 to $3.25 per square foot on a triple net basis, with the exact price depending on a tenant's needs.
Shoemaker gave credit to Kentwood Mayor Richard Root and The Right Place Inc. President Birgit Klohs for assisting with the transaction. He said Root helped Franklin Partners "cut through the red tape" that is normally tightly wrapped around a multi-million dollar deal, and also praised Klohs for her "tireless efforts."
Meanwhile, construction on the front portion of the Bosch plant is expected to be completed next month. X-Rite Inc. bought that section, roughly 365,000 square feet, last April for its new headquarters. Intertek ETL Entela is the building's latest tenant; the firm leased 96,000 square feet in October.
Franklin Partners demolished about 100,000 square feet of the Bosch building to create a truck court and then converted the plant into two separate buildings. The firm still owns 450,000 square feet in one building and has 180,000 square feet available for lease.
Franklin Partners owns and manages industrial and office space primarily in the
"We've owned roughly around two million square feet of space in
"There are a lot of very strong manufacturers in