Global Food Properties (“GFP”), alongside Bill Kuhns of FM Stone, is pleased to confirm the sale of a 135,000 SF former thermal production plant in Northern Indiana. The Seller is a multi-billion dollar private-label food manufacturer, and this sale marks the sixth transaction in a focused cost reduction and efficiency campaign. To-date, GFP and its brokerage partners have eliminated nearly 825,000 SF of surplus space, freeing cash totaling over $11,400,000.

Brokers Relished the Challenge

The Northern Indiana sale was challenging, because the original facility was built in 1952, and subsequent additions created an irregular flow with a heavily demised interior. Beyond this functional obsolescence, a sodium chloride pickle brining process damaged concrete plant floors, metal beams and trusses. While not a structural concern, the caustic effects, together with the inefficient layout, made redeployment of the site for next-generation food production unlikely.

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Hence, the dual team of GFP and FM Stone, where the latter took the lead in canvassing qualified non-food occupiers able to redeploy the property for industrial use. In the end, though we did tour several food manufacturers through the space, a leading manufacturer of sump, sewage, and wastewater basins acquired the property for use in its rapidly growing business. Who you choose matters, and in this case, dual and independent brokerage teams created the best outcome.

A Pickle Avoided

The sale is interesting as it confirms a trend GFP identified years ago, to wit, the increasing number of food facility sales outside the food industry. Strengthening food safety regulations, together with thin margins that punish inefficiency, increasingly push older food plants towards alternative re-use. Indeed, with this client alone, five of the six most recent transactions involved non-food use buyers. We expect magnification of this trend, which will not only impact property valuations and vacancy, but ideally, shape the brokerage teams engaged to bring these properties to market.

For additional details, please contact:

Jeff Counsell at jeff.counsell@globalfoodproperties.com or call +1 312 589 8844. You can also visit us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and www.globalfoodproperties.com.