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An affiliate of Franklin Partners is putting the former Display Pack building at 1340 Monroe Avenue on the market. An affiliate of Franklin Partners is putting the former Display Pack building at 1340 Monroe Avenue on the market. PHOTO: NICK MANES

Franklin Partners puts North Monroe industrial building on the market

BY Friday, April 13, 2018 09:41am

GRAND RAPIDS — The owner of a 370,000-square-foot vacant industrial building north of downtown Grand Rapids has decided to put it on the market.

A subsidiary of Grand Rapids- and Oak Brook, Ill.-based real estate firm Franklin Partners LLC wants to sell the former Display Pack Inc. building at 1340 Monroe Ave. NW to someone who will redevelop it for the right uses, according to executives at the firm and an offering memorandum for the property. The 8-acre site is located on the east side of North Monroe Avenue just north of Leonard Street.

“We are pursuing all options right now with that property,” Julie Maue, director of marketing and business development for Franklin Partners, wrote in an email to MiBiz. “We are still trying to figure out the best use, but if someone has a better idea/plan or desire, we would sell it. It’s the one property we haven’t had a set plan for.”

Franklin Partners principal Don Shoemaker previously said he wasn’t sure if the building would be best suited as residential or office space, or a combination of the two.

Public records shows that Franklin Partners acquired the land and building for just over $7 million in 2015.

Matt Jones, an associate vice president in the Grand Rapids office of commercial brokerage Colliers International Inc., is marketing the property.

Jones said the site would be best suited for large-scale multifamily apartment redevelopment, but like Maue at Franklin Partners, he could envision other uses.

“The beauty of that building is that (a developer) is only limited by their imagination,” Jones said.

Given the size and scope of the site — as well as the lack of comparable redevelopments in recent history — the owners are marketing the property without a price and leaving that to the market, Jones said, noting that he expects to receive national interest in the property.

The exploration of a sale of the more than 100-year-old building comes as Franklin Partners begins development and construction of a seven-story office building in downtown Grand Rapids. The project is a component of the Studio Park mixed-use project south of the Van Andel Arena, as MiBiz previously reported.

The offering memorandum describes the Display Pack building as “a unique opportunity to invest in a historic manufacturing facility strategically positioned for redevelopment. The site is one of the last operational vertical manufacturing facilities that has been meticulously maintained, offering a solid building that is in exceptional condition.”

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