Banking & Finance, Manufacturing, and Real Estate

Steelcase sells plant site

June 6, 2014
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Steelcase sells plant site
An aerial view of the 127-acre manufacturing property in Kentwood at 5565 Broadmoor Ave. SE, formerly owned by Steelcase. Courtesy Colliers International West Michigan

Steelcase has sold an 885,781-square-foot plant in the area to a developer and investment firm with plans for the site.

127 acres

Franklin Partners, a Naperville, Ill.-based developer, and Bixby Bridge Capital, a Northbrook, Ill.-based investment firm, have reached an agreement with Steelcase to buy the manufacturing and distribution facility in Kentwood, at 5565 Broadmoor Ave. SE, according to Colliers International West Michigan today.

The property sits on 127 acres of land, and the facility comprises about 20 acres.

Franklin Partners’ plan is to re-purpose the property for an already-leased manufacturer, with the tenant expecting to be in the space by August.

“This isn’t the closing of a factory. This is an opportunity for a massive building to have new life,” said Don Shoemaker, managing partner, Franklin Partners. “There’s no downtime from Steelcase vacating the property to us re-filling it with a strong employer. This is a great win for West Michigan.”

Trio of manufacturing sites

With Franklin Partners’ previous acquisitions of the 665,000-square-foot facility at 5353 Broadmoor Ave. SE and the 915,000-square-foot space at 4700 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Colliers said the deal is part of the 2.4 million square feet of former Steelcase manufacturing buildings that Franklin Partners has purchased.

“It takes a creative buyer to split a building from a campus as big as Steelcase’s,” said Duke Suwyn, president and CEO, Colliers International West Michigan.

Suwyn said that “making this building its own” will require multiple improvements: new access to roads, re-designed utility infrastructure, lighting, painting, HVAC and more.

Suwyn added that the deal continues the Kentwood tradition of keeping the community “open for business.”

“These Steelcase buildings are built to a high standard. You can’t replicate the quality and infrastructure, given what it would cost today," said Gary Tamminga, director of facilities, Franklin Partners.

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