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HQ News: DSW Buys the Owner of its Headquarters

Also: Parkway Takes NASCAR Plaza Trophy; and Other Headquarters Property News from: Berry Plastics; Groceries Apparel; Midtronics; Regal Beloit; Sikorsky Aerospace; Tweedy Browne and many more
November 13, 2012
DSW Inc., a leading branded footwear and accessories retailer, acquired 810 AC LLC, which owns DSW’s corporate headquarters at 810 DSW Drive (3980 - 4020 E 5th Ave.), as well as its 700,000-square-foot distribution center and trailer lot on its home office campus in Columbus, OH. DSW paid $72 million in cash.

“Today’s acquisition reflects our continued commitment to growing DSW in the future by opening stores, expanding our business and by adding new accounts to our Affiliated Business Group (formerly the leased Business Division),” said Mike MacDonald, president and CEO of DSW. “Purchasing the property secures our investment and ensures our ability to expand into additional office space to support DSW’s continued growth.”

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The company recently completed the $15 million installation of an automatic sortation facility in the distribution center to support its size replenishment program.

DSW had previously leased two thirds of the property included in the purchase. DSW expects certain portions of the properties to continue to be leased by third parties.

810 AC LLC will contribute $3 million to the cost of replacing the roof of a building on the properties.

Schottenstein Property Group will provide management, operation, repair, maintenance, replacement and supervision services for the properties.

Parkway Takes NASCAR Plaza Trophy

By: Randyl Drummer
Parkway Properties Inc. agreed to acquire NASCAR Plaza, a 390,000-square-foot office tower in the CBD of Charlotte, NC, from a joint venture of Trinity Capital Advisors and Rubenstein Partners.

The 20-story building constructed in 2009, which is 88% leased with an average in-place rent per square foot of $25.61, sold for about $100 million. It is next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the racing association has leased 139,000 square feet in the building for its headquarters under a lease that runs through May 2021.

“The purchase of NASCAR Plaza represents another off-market transaction that enables us to expand in one of our key, target submarkets with a high-quality asset,” said James R. Heistand, Parkway’s president and CEO, adding the REIT plans to grow leasing and rents in a submarket that it believes will outperform during a recovery.

NASCAR Plaza is expected to generate a 2013 estimated cash net operating income of 7%. Parkway will own the entire asset and plans to assume the first mortgage secured by the property, which has a current outstanding balance of $42.3 million with a current interest rate of 4.7% and a maturity date of March 30, 2016.

After closing, Parkway intends to amend and restate the loan to current market terms. Closing is expected by the end of the year and Parkway intends to fund its share of equity using cash and borrowings from its revolving credit facility.

Berry Plastics

Berry Plastics Group Inc. will reopen its Madisonville, KY, manufacturing facility to increase its production capacity.

“We will soon begin reconfiguring our Madisonville, KY, facility which is slated to begin production in 2013,” said Jon Rich, chairman and CEO of Berry Plastics.
Berry acquired the Madisonville (Hopkins County) facility during its acquisition of Rexam’s specialty and beverage closures business in August 2011. Earlier this year, the company shuttered the facility, as a result of the redistribution of production to its other rigid closed top manufacturing facilities. The facility had employed 140. Berry announced today that it will convert the facility to manufacture rigid open top products.

Over the next few years, Berry will ramp up employment at the facility to reach a targeted employment level of 400.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $10 million. KEDFA also approved Berry Plastics for tax benefits up to $450,000 to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.


ConforMIS Inc., an orthopedic implants company, relocated its headquarters to 28 Crosby Drive in Bedford, MA.

The new space, combined with the manufacturing facility in Burlington, quadruples the total-square-footage of the company’s existing property. The company now has more than 120,000 square feet available for its operations. The expansion will facilitate the development of advanced manufacturing capabilities, new product development initiatives and a broader commercialization strategy, resulting in more than 100 new jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.

ConforMIS is retaining its existing facility at 11 North Ave. in Burlington as a manufacturing plant, allowing for scaled production.


By: Michelle Sonn
Just months after moving into new offices, ConnectWise Inc. is expanding once again. It leased 34,930 square feet at the Fountain Square II office building at 4925 Independence Pkwy. in Tampa, FL. Occupancy is scheduled for April 2013.

ConnectWise’s national headquarters is nearby, at the Independence Park office building.

Jimmy Garvey and Joe Taggart of CLW Real Estate Services Group represented ConnectWise. Larry Feldman of Feldman Equities represented the landlord in-house.

Fusion Telecommunications

Fusion Telecommunications International Inc. acquired Network Billing Systems LLC and substantially all of the assets of NBS’ affiliate, Interconnect Services Group II LLC.

The acquired business is a unified communications and cloud services provider offering a wide range of hosted voice and data services.

Fusion entered into a 5-year lease agreement with Manchester Realty LLC, a company controlled by NBS’s owner Jonathan Kaufman, to continue the occupancy of NBS’ principal offices in Wayne, NJ. The lease is for 11,000 square feet of office space, under which Fusion is required to pay annual rent of $120,000, with annual increases of 7% to 8% per year.

Groceries Apparel

Groceries Apparel is moving and expanding its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities to Alameda Square in downtown Los Angeles, adding to the area’s growing fashion enclave.

Groceries Apparel signed a 5-year lease with EVOQ Properties Inc. to occupy 33,000 square feet of Building 2 at Alameda Square at 767 Alameda. The company is expected to complete the move this month.

“As a downtown Los Angeles company, it was important that we stay and be part of this movement of businesses coming back to the city center,” said Robert Lohman, president of Groceries Apparel.

The larger space will enable Groceries Apparel to almost double the number of its employees to 60 and to triple its output by year end. All the corporate administrative functions, creative and design work, sewing, cutting and manufacturing work will be housed at the new location.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. signed a lease extension and phased expansion totaling 93,000 square feet at BioMed Realty Trust’s 301 Binney St. facility in Cambridge, MA. As a result of this, Ironwood’s occupancy in the five-story, state-of-the-art facility will increase to 303,000 square feet. The term of the lease now extends through January 31, 2018.

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies signed an 18,543-square-foot lease at 805 Fifteenth St. NW, the historic Southern Building in Washington, DC, which is owned by Washington-based SJG Properties.

The transaction resulted in a lower rental rate, a more efficient design and the consolidation to one floor. It also included a favorable concession package with a significant construction allowance, rent abatement and expansion rights for future growth.

There is an extensive window line with an abundance of natural light throughout the new space, including an outdoor, 3,600-square-foot terrace with exclusive use by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. In addition, the landmark Southern Building has a rooftop terrace with views of the Washington Monument, as well as a tenant fitness center.

The Ezra Co. president Glenn Meltzer, senior vice president Anthony King and vice president Ezra Weinblatt teamed up to represent the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.


Midtronics Inc. opened a state-of-the-art stationary power facility is at 7133 Monroe St. in Willowbrook, IL, - just a short distance from its corporate headquarters.

“The investment in this new facility represents a significant step for Midtronics and confirms our serious dedication to the growing stationary power market,” stated Steve McShane, Midtronics CEO. “Providing an entirely new, high-tech location for the use of our dedicated people and to better serve our customers, is expected to help us meet the rapidly changing needs of the telecommunications, data center, utility and other stationary power markets.”

The new facility houses a modern, open office environment and well-equipped meeting areas with conferencing capabilities. Also included is a fully-dedicated battery and system test laboratory that. The facility was custom designed and built to Midtronics specifications.

Peacock Engineering

Peacock Engineering Company LLC, a product packaging company, is leasing an additional 163,214 square feet to be constructed at 1800 Averill Road in Geneva, IL.

Peacock will continue to lease the existing 243,000-square-foot building there owned by Duke Realty, which will construct the expansion space. Peacock Engineering also leases 720 Center Avenue, a 360,684-square-foot Duke Realty building in Carol Stream, IL.

As part of the transaction, Peacock Engineering will enter into long-term lease agreements for the 766,898 square feet that it will occupy in the two buildings.

Peacock Engineering is a growing food packaging company that wanted to remain in its existing properties because of the functionality of the space and the recent investments it has made in product handling equipment at the two locations.

Brian Kling with Colliers International represented Peacock Engineering in its lease transactions. Susan Bergdoll, vice president of leasing, represented Duke Realty.

Regal Beloit

Construction has been completed on Regal Beloit Corp.’s regional distribution and logistics headquarters in AllPoints Midwest, a bulk industrial park being developed jointly by Browning/Duke Realty in Indianapolis’ southwest submarket.

“We have officially moved into our new facility and are extremely pleased with the finished product. The building provides us with everything we wanted in a state-of-the-art logistics center,” said Linda Shaw, Regal’s vice president of customer care and logistics.

The 376,000-square foot building is LEED New Construction registered. Numerous green practices and features were incorporated into its construction. Sustainable characteristics of Regal’s building include:

· Energy management, including high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
· A construction waste management program to divert more than 75 percent of waste from the landfill.
· Water-efficient plumbing fixtures.
· Use of regionally manufactured and recycled materials.
· Use of only certified wood products recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council.
· Specifying low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting construction materials to improve indoor air quality and occupant health. And
· Highly reflective roof surfaces for a reduction in heat island effect caused by development.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. leased an additional 80,500 square feet of space with BioMed Realty Trust at The landmark at Eastview campus inTarrytown, NY; comprised of 46,000 square feet of space in the 777 Building and 34,500 square feet of space in the 765 Building. Regeneron will use the new research and development laboratories for its research into treatments for ophthalmology, cancer, inflammation, hypercholesterolemia and other conditions.

Sikorsky Aerospace

Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) signed a memorandum of understanding with Aviation Training Consulting to establish an advanced flight and maintenance training academy, the Sikorsky Training Academy in Altus, OK.

Projected to launch in 2013, the academy will initially focus on meeting the needs of foreign militaries using the Black Hawk helicopter as the training platform. Altus, near Fort Sill, OK, provides the training academy with access to several hundred square miles of operating space, certified landing areas and certified night vision routes. In addition, Altus weather conditions are well suited to flight training schedules.

Strategic Equipment and Supply

Strategic Equipment and Supply Corp. relocated its corporate headquarters and its ISI Commercial Refrigeration Inc. division to a new distribution center.

The new location is at 1461 S. Belt Line Road, Suite 100 in Coppell, TX. The new building, contained in the Coppell Business Center, a CBRE project, is more than 100,000 square feet in area and will house both the corporate offices and CAD design center, in addition to ISI’s administrative offices, distribution center, customer showroom, parts store, training facility and repair and maintenance center, supporting the expansion of both the ISI business regionally and Strategic’s national distribution capacity in the Western United States.

Tweedy Browne

By: Esmeralda McKie
Tweedy Browne Co. leased an office suite of 24,421 square feet at Metro Center at 1 Station Place in Stamford, CT. It is relocating its headquarters from 350 Park Ave. in Manhattan, NY. The asset management firm will take occupancy early 2013 for a 10-year term.

The Metro Center was selected based on “its advantageous location, efficient floor plate and its standing as a well-run, first-rate building,” according to Brian Goldman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Goldman brokered the deal for the tenant along with NGKF’s Daniel Hassett and Julian Wise with Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. Kimberly Zaccagnino, Tara Long and Jeffrey Newman at Malkin Properties represented the landlord in-house.

Keep up weekly on national news, trends and property leads with the Watch List Newsletter, a weekly pdf that includes other news and leads not found on the CoStar Group web news pages. Sign up for the Watch List E-Mail Alert. A new issue is published late each Wednesday.
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