Manufacturing Facility Goes Condo

May 2, 2003
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NORTON SHORES — The developer behind a new manufacturing facility planned in Norton Shores will seek to offer companies the benefits of ownership with the economics of leasing.

WestOne Corp., an affiliate of WestWind Construction in Spring Lake, is seeking buyers for manufacturing suites in the $2.4 million Hunter Place, planned for a 3.9-acre site on Robert Hunter Drive, near Muskegon County Airport.

WestOne is marketing Hunter Place to companies involved in light manufacturing and assembly. Firms locating in the 45,000-square-foot facility would share the costs of amenities such as grounds maintenance, fire protection systems, and maintaining parking lots and truck lanes, as well as benefit from group utility rates, WestOne Corp. owner Greg Oleszcuk said.

“Obviously there’re some synergies that will come out of this,” Oleszcuk said “There’s a lot of economies that can come.”

Through the pooled amenities, a company can better afford to own its manufacturing space, said Oleszcuk, whose company specializes in developing manufacturing facilities. Last year he acquired the former Grand Haven Brass Foundry facility in Grand Haven and now leases manufacturing space there to small firms.

He’s targeting the Hunter Place development toward companies that are prepared to move up from a leased to an owned facility that provides a degree of affordability.

“There’s an element of people that want to have ownership in a facility,” Oleszcuk said. “The problem is bringing them a facility on a smaller scale that can be economic to run and maintain.”

Suites of 4,000 square feet in Hunter Place are going for $220,000. Firms can buy 5,000 square feet for $275,000 and 9,000 square feet for $450,000.

Each suite would have its own utilities and entrance. Oleszcuk will begin construction on the project once half of the available space is sold, he said.

While there’s plenty of light industrial space available in Muskegon County and northern Ottawa County for start-up and small firms to lease, a condo-style facility that they can buy into is a new wrinkle in the market, said Ty Hallock of Grubb & Ellis/Paramount, the Grand Rapids commercial real estate firm representing WestOne Construction.

By following the condominium model, Hunter Place seeks to fill a “hole in the market” and open the door for small companies to own top-notch manufacturing space that comes with a little better price tag, Hallock said.

“That’s something that’s not a product up there,” he said. “This is a drop-dead gorgeous building where somebody can take advantage of the economies of scale.”   

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