Chicago investors buy 1.3M square feet of West Michigan industrial property


According to a statement from Colliers, the vacancy rate in the Grand Rapids industrial market is 7.1 percent, making it the 12th-lowest among U.S. markets. Photo courtesy Colliers

Six multi-tenant industrial facilities in West Michigan and one in South Bend have changed hands.

CrossLake Partners, a new joint venture between the Chicago office of Colliers International and a private family-owned real estate firm also based in Chicago, announced that it has finalized a $29.3 million deal for the seven buildings, which collectively total more than 1.5 million square feet, from CenterPoint Properties, a Chicago-based real estate development company.

The deal was finalized on June 12.

According to a statement from Colliers, the vacancy rate in the Grand Rapids industrial market is 7.1 percent, making it the 12th-lowest among U.S. markets. Colliers reported the market experienced “positive absorption in the first quarter” for 2013, with similar results expected for the rest of the year.

“After purchasing a single asset in Grand Rapids back in December of 2012, we felt a continued investment in this market was well justified,” said William Fausone, president of the Colliers Chicago office. “Grand Rapids is an extremely healthy market and has experienced significant growth due to its high concentration of furniture and food manufacturing industries.”

John Kuiper and Steve Marcusse, principals at Colliers’ office in Grand Rapids, were tasked with handling the property marketing efforts.

“In the last five years (CenterPoint has) been doing a lot more developments in port cities,” Marcusse said. “They wanted to free up the capital in this portfolio to reinvest in other areas of the country.”

Marcusse said CrossLake plans to put somewhere between $2 million and $5 million into renovating the buildings in the upcoming months. Lease rates will remain the same, he said.

The Indiana and Norton Shores locations are currently fully leased, but the remaining buildings are leased at approximately 75 percent capacity, he said, housing a total of 23 tenants.

The renovations will hopefully attract new clients and create more jobs, Marcusse said, adding that Colliers wants the buildings at 100 percent capacity.

“We think it’s going to bolster the stock of quality space for users already here, and is just one more positive mark that we can tell to the greater world out there,” he said. “There’s big city investment dollars pouring into West Michigan because of the value and opportunity here.”

Purchases like this are a sign that industrial manufacturing is ramping up again in West Michigan, Marcusse said.

“You come downtown (Grand Rapids), you can’t feel anything but vibrancy, especially when you see new developments. It’s a happening, growing city,” he said. “Look at all the different manufacturers and users of industrial space. A lot of them were hurting in 2009, but they’re coming back.”

The six West Michigan properties total more than 1.3 million square feet and the location in South Bend has just under 200,000 square feet of space. The properties included in the deal and their square footages are: 

  • 1100 Hynes Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, 215,050
  • 900 Hynes Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, 190,429
  • 3056 Walker Ridge Drive, Walker, 335,125
  • 2966 Wilson Drive, Walker, 200,188
  • 3111 Wilson Drive, Walker, 107,000
  • 1269 E. Mount Garfield Road, Norton Shores, 275,000
  • 1827 Bendix Drive, South Bend, 199,730

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