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99 Monroe 99 Monroe

Franklin Partners sells two downtown Grand Rapids properties

BY Wednesday, February 24, 2016 02:36pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Development and property management firm Franklin Partners LLC has sold its two downtown office properties, according to principal Don Shoemaker.

The firm, with offices in Grand Rapids and Naperville, Ill. sold the 12-story tower at 99 Monroe Ave. NW and six-story building at 25 Ottawa Ave. SW and will now turn its attention to other downtown-area projects, Shoemaker said.

99 Monroe, which was acquired by Franklin Partners in 2012, renovated and now fully leased with a variety of tenants, was bought by newly-formed investment firm, Grand Rapids-based Vision Real Estate Investment Inc., according to a statement.

“We see 99 Monroe as a legacy asset for our investor group that is in the heart of the community which we love,” said Bradley Hartwell, senior development executive at Vision Real Estate in a text message. “We feel that it is one of the best and most strategically located class A office buildings downtown Grand Rapids and we’re excited to add it to our portfolio.”

The sale was brokered by Duke Suwyn and Colin Kraay, principals in the Grand Rapids office of Colliers International.

Franklin Partners will remain a tenant in the 99 Monroe building.

25 Ottawa, fully leased by Spectrum Health for part of its information technology department, was acquired last week by Kalamazoo-based Catalyst Development Co LLC, according to a statement. The ground-floor space will contain new restaurant Iron Restaurant LLC, as well as as office space for Kalamazoo-based Greenleaf Trust and Holland-based advertising firm Fairly Painless Advertising Inc., per an announcement from Colliers. 

The sale price of the two buildings was not disclosed. According to city property records, Franklin Partners acquired 99 Monroe in 2012 for $11.8 million and bought 25 Ottawa in 2014 for $6.18 million.

With the proceeds from the sales, Franklin Partners will now shift its focus to renovating other downtown-area properties, Shoemaker said.

As MiBiz first reported in January, Franklin Partners is under contract to acquire the Keeler Building at 56 North Division Ave. The developer also plans to renovate 1340 Monroe Ave. NW, an industrial building occupied by Display Pack Inc.

Shoemaker said Franklin Partners is still doing due diligence on both buildings to determine specific uses, either residential or office space, or a combination of both.

The sale of the two buildings only emphasises the company’s commitment to investments in the region, Shoemaker said.

“This is the opposite of a sign that we’re not interested in downtown Grand Rapids,” Shoemaker said adding that once its buildings have been filled, the firm evaluates whether to hold or sell an asset. “We’re not opposed to selling real estate.”

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