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HOLLAND, MI-Third Coast Development Partners, based in Grand Rapids, has purchased Hart and Cooley Inc.’s 627,000-sf research and development facility here. Sitting on 43 acres, the building, located at 500 East 8th St., has served as the company’s headquarters since the 1920s.

The company plans to lease it from Third Coast until 2008, says Dave Levitt, Third Coast principal, at which time the manufacturer will completely relocate to a new 60,000-sf facility in Grand Rapids. Hart and Cooley, a supplier of commercial HVAC systems and equipment, will shut down the Holland production plant and disperse the workload to “more modern and less expensive” plants in Arizona and North Carolina.

Once Hart and Cooley vacate the property, Third Coast will be sitting with a bulk parcel and several development opportunities, Levitt says. “There are a ton of options there,” Levitt tells GlobeSt.com. “We are in the process of evaluating options, and later this summer we’ll be coming back with a plan.”

Because the manufacturing plant is on a brownfield site, Levitt says the company will be looking for tax incentives from the city. Third Coast will also be working with the governmental body to draw a best-use plan for the site. Current options include dividing up the plant for smaller manufacturing tenants; and razing the plant to create a mixed-use development.

“I think they would be more inclined for it not to be manufacturing; there is retail and residential all around that land,” Levitt says. “The issue is that it’s a lot of acreage to have in that kind of area.”

Holland, a city that sits near the border of Michigan and Indiana, has a population of 35,000 and is home to Hope College. The city is 31 miles from Grand Rapids, where the company’s new headquarters is being built. Third Coast is also developing that facility, of which Hart and Cooley will use approximately 50,000 sf for office and 10,000 sf for research and development. Lease rates in the area range from $10 per sf to $15 per sf.

Levitt could not disclose the sale price for the Holland facility. The value of the Grand Rapids building is approximately $7 million.

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