(To read more on the industrial market, click here.)

(Natalie Keith is a contributing writer to GlobeSt.com.)

TROY, MI-Auto supplier Behr America plans to add an $8.5-million, 69,000-sf office building to its North American headquarters after purchasing an adjacent 2.3-acre site. The addition of the three-story building will increase the amount of office space on the campus by more than 75%.

A spokesperson for Behr tells GlobeSt.com that there Behr currently has three buildings on site, a technical center, administrative building and climatic wind tunnel opened in 2004 where researchers test air-conditioning and engine cooling systems. Construction on the building will begin in the next two months. It will provide space for 270 employees that currently work in space leased in two buildings on Big Beaver Street in Troy. The new building is expected to open early next year.

Although the site is large, it is unclear whether there is enough room to construct more structures after the 69,000-sf facility has been built because of parking requirements. “It’s a large site, but we have to provide adequate parking for all our employees,” says the spokesperson.

When it opened in 2002, Behr’s facility in Troy employed 100 people. Employment has since grown to 550, with expectations that it will grow to 600 within the next several years. The company also has facilities in Dayton, OH; Charleston, SC and Fort Worth. “We are laying the foundation for further growth in North America,” Behr president and CEO Frank Mueller said in a statement.

Doug Smith, the City of Troy’s director of real estate and development, says Behr must receive site plan approval and building permits for the project, but does not anticipate a problem with issuing the approvals.

The company also announced plans to break ground on a new production plant in Northeast Mexico. The facility will be built in two stages, with the first $13-million, 130,000-sf building scheduled for completion by the end of 2006.

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