Refurbishment of Maytag Plant 2 well underway by Phoenix Investors

As reported in the Newton Daily News:

Clean, usable, open space — that is what greeted the brokers viewing the former Maytag Plant 2 during an open house on Wednesday.

Phoenix Investors, the commercial real estate firm which purchased the property for $6.7 million in 2015, hosted more than a dozen brokers whose clients have shown interest in leasing the newly refurbished building.

Totaling more than 1.3 million square feet, the building, which hadn’t been used for close to a decade, was quite the undertaking. The Milwaukee-based firm was more than ready for the challenge and has already made substantial progress on large portions of the project.

“This type of project, you would call it our bread and butter,” said Phoenix Investors Vice President of Acquisitions and Leasing Patrick Dedering,

We can come into a former single tenant manufacturing facility and add the capital required to bring it back to life.

To begin, the company had major infrastructure demolition to complete, with most of the building separated into a main floor with a second floor mezzanine throughout. With a goal of having large open spaces, the company’s construction crew and local subcontractors had their work cut out for them.

“There was a lot of infrastructure to tackle to get to this point,” project manager Marsha McNeil said.

Dedering said most of the demolition work has been completed and former pits in the building have been filled with excess rubble and paved over. Portions of the roof have also been addressed, with more work to come in the spring.

“Coming this spring, we will be undergoing the next phase of roof repair and replacement,” Dedering said. “1.3 million square feet in this complex alone is not something you can reroof in a summer, so we’ve taken a phased approach to it with the tenants to have come to the table looking to lease space.”

The plan for refurbishment is to chip off 200,000 to 300,000 square feet at a time, Dedering said. Amenities in the finished areas including new lighting, paint, cleaned floors and upgraded mechanicals. Additional improvements feature thermocyclers, an air rotation system that kept the heat pumping and pulls the heat off of the ceiling to circulate it.

“As a service to our tenants, we put in high efficiency lamps with motion sensors on them and that is a direct cost savings to our tenants at the end of the day because they are paying the utility bill,” Dedering said.

With a space of this size, the idea of keeping the large area flexible is key to finding future tenants. Currently, portions are partitioned off with plastic to maintain dust control but areas up to 600,000 square feet of continuous space will be available to accommodate a potential tenant.

“It is nice to be able to be flexible and shift efforts where needed,” Dedering said. “We had a tenant looking to consolidate into a little more than 200,000 square feet so we understood their timeline, understood what they needed and got to work.”

Long term plans for the building include replacing docks that had been demolished on the south side of the building, completing paving projects around the exterior, the ongoing roof replacement and painting the exterior. While the company doesn’t have an exact time frame for the project, material work should be complete in about a year, Dedering said…

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