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Tuesday, 17 December 2013 15:11

Franklin Partners to expand downtown Grand Rapids holdings with 25 Ottawa

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A Chicago-based developer of office and industrial sites across West Michigan is in the process of purchasing the firm’s second downtown Grand Rapids office building in the last two years.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based real estate investment firm Franklin Partners LLC is under contract with Arena Station LCC to buy the property at 25 Ottawa Avenue SW, known as Arena Station, across the street from the Van Andel Arena.

Don Shoemaker, managing partner for Franklin Partners, confirmed the deal to MiBiz and said the firm expects to close on the property in early February.

While the property wasn’t listed, Shoemaker said his firm first became interested in the property in August and eventually approached the owner with an offer. After former tenant restaurant McKay’s Downtown closed in mid November, Shoemaker said the seller was more inclined to make a deal.

While there are no concrete plans yet in place, Franklin Partners expects to thoroughly upgrade and renovate the property, Shoemaker said.

“We’re going to continue the branding of downtown office buildings and bring similar improvements to (25 Ottawa) that we did on 99 Monroe,” Shoemaker said. “One of things that’s neat about the building is its timber frame construction and exposed structure inside. It also has 12- to 14-foot ceilings. It’s a different product type than a 99 Monroe, and we like that.”

While Franklin Partners attracted a number of financial services and law firms to 99 Monroe, including the recent lease signings of both the Wege Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Shoemaker said creative firms are more suited for 25 Ottawa, where he hopes to attract a more diverse tenant mix.

Current tenants at the property include Armour–Eckrich Meats LLC, Cole’s Quality Foods Inc., Grand Rapids Personal Training LLCDo More Good (formerly Hanon McKendry Inc.), Parchment Inc., RedThread Communications Inc.Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine LLC and Sustainable Research Group LLC.

However, when Do More Good moves to its new offices in the Arena Place development, which is slated for completion in the spring of 2015, the building will be only 30 percent occupied, Shoemaker said.

“The building does have re-tenanting challenge on the first floor, and we’re going to have to be really careful about who we lease to and who the operator is,” Shoemaker said. “We’ll have to try and rethink it. Maybe it shouldn’t be a bar and or as big, but that’s part of the challenge there.”

Read 5715 times Last modified on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 15:16

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