Kaiser Aircraft’s 1.7 million-square-foot facility, 180 acres at the Birmingham airport on the market –

July 2nd, 2014
Kaiser Aircraft Industries has operated out of its facility next to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport since buying Alabama Aircraft out of bankruptcy in September 2011.

Kaiser Aircraft Industries has operated out of its facility next to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport since buying Alabama Aircraft out of bankruptcy in September 2011.

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The massive Kaiser Aircraft Industries facility next to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport has been put up for lease and economic developers are hopeful they can land an Airbus supplier or other major project there.

Graham & Co. has been hired to market and lease the 1.7 million-square-foot facility and its 180 acres with direct runway access at the airport.

The 1.2 million-square-foot primary hangar has 10 pull-through bays with 160-foot wide, 725-foot deep dimensions and 40-foot clear ceiling heights. As many as 42 737- to 800-type aircraft can fit under roof.

Two warehouses totaling 295,000 square feet can house a number of distribution or manufacturing uses. A paint booth rounds out the complex.

The construction of the $600 million Airbus aircraft manufacturing facility in Mobile along with more than 300 aerospace and defense companies throughout the state make economic development officials hopeful the facility will not stay empty long.
“The Kaiser facility is a truly unique aviation industry asset and we’re excited to see Graham & Co. aggressively market the Birmingham region and this facility to the global aerospace and aviation community,” Rick Davis, head of economic development with the Birmingham Business Alliance, said in a statement.

A single or multiple manufacturers could set up shop in the facility or another aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company like Kaiser could find the facility a perfect fit. Ogden Deaton, a lead broker with Graham & Co., said it has the potential to attract any number global aerospace projects.

“We now have an existing product in Birmingham that could be the catalyst for bringing a world-class company to Birmingham,” Deaton said in a statement.

Kaiser Group Holdings purchased the former Alabama Aircraft Industries out of bankruptcy in September 2011, saving a portion of the 325 jobs with plans to add more business and jobs to the facility.

Apparently enough of that additional business hasn’t materialized and Kaiser determined that it didn’t need the majority of the space, opting to put it on the market, according to Jack Brown, a Graham & Co. broker listing the property.

Kaiser did add 15 jobs in August 2013, according to the BBA. In December, the company named Robert E. Burnett Jr., a 30-plus-year veteran of the government and the military, as its new president.

On Dec. 17, 2013, Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington posted on his Facebook page, “Excellent presentation by the Kaiser Aircraft management team. This company has increased employment from 50 to 125 in the last 12 months and plans to double employment this year.”

A phone call seeking the current status of Kaiser Aircraft was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Alabama Aircraft, formerly Pemco Aeroplex, had its own up and down history at the facility until the death blow came when it lost a $1.1 billion KC-135 contract to Boeing. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors in February 2011, citing about $70 million in unpaid pension benefits.

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Get the latest on Huntsville/Madison County’s 2013 retail, office and industrial occupancy rates –

July 1st, 2014

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Huntsville’s office and retail divisions lost ground in 2013, but the city’s industrial market continued to perform well.

Commercial real estate firm Graham & Co. recently issued its annual market survey showing the Rocket City’s office, retail and industrial occupancy rates.

Here are some highlights from the Graham & Co. report:

HUNTSVILLE INDUSTRIAL MARKET OVERVIEW – The industrial vacancy rate fell to 10.03 percent in 2013, down from 11.62 a year earlier. The city’s vacancy remains below the 11.30 percent national average.

“The national industrial market has experienced steady, positive improvement since 2010,” the report said. “The national vacancy average declined in 2013, and has now dropped 14 consecutive quarters. The recovery has been felt nationwide as 48 of 61 markets reported declines in availability.”

Huntsville’s industrial market saw a net 618,000 square feet of industrial inventory leased in 2013. It was the second consecutive year the industrial sector experienced positive absorption.

While new construction was “almost nonexistent” last year, the report shows there is between 5,000 and 15,000 square feet of new construction underway in the Spacegate area and along Madison Boulevard.

The Jetplex Industrial Park at Huntsville International Airport saw its vacancies drop 13.02 percent last year, a decrease from 15.16 in 2012 and 16.15 in 2011.

Vacancies dropped 7.62 percent at the North Huntsville Industrial Market, while the vacancy rate jumped slightly from 1.40 percent in 2012 to 1.59 percent last year at Chase Industrial Park.

HUNTSVILLE OFFICE MARKET OVERVIEW – The city’s office market vacancy surpassed the national average last year, from 12.55 percent in 2012 to 15.47. The national office vacancy rate was 14.8 percent in 2013.

Graham & Co. said 2013 was the third straight year office vacancy has jumped and the second consecutive year it has experienced double-digit vacancy rates.

“Continued slowdown in defense spending and uncertainty surrounding the recent sequestration has negatively impacted the office market in Huntsville,” the report said. “The Cummings Research Park submarket has been greatly affected, with most defense firms downsizing to save costs.”

Cummings Research Park’s vacancy rate in 2013 spiked to 11.89 percent from 8.9 a year earlier. Multi-tenant vacancy in the nation’s second-largest research park also reached 22.78 percent, a jump from last year’s 17.96 rate.

Downtown Huntsville’s office submarket saw vacancy decline to 17.93 percent, down from 2012′s 21.98 percent. The report cited an increase in downtown projects, including construction of new buildings and redevelopment of existing structures.

Anchored by Intergraph and Boeing, the Jetplex/Madison office market experienced a dramatic uptick in vacancy, from 12.3 percent in 2012 to a striking 31.35 percent last year.

HUNTSVILLE RETAIL MARKET OVERVIEW – Although the national retail vacancy rate dropped to 10.4 percent last year, Huntsville’s retail vacancy jumped to 10.27 percent from 2012′s 9.05.

New retail construction in the Huntsville market declined slightly from 2012-13, but recently-announced projects are expected to increase that figure again. Graham & Co. expects the area’s negative retail absorption will be short-lived.

The U.S. 72/Madison and Jones Valley markets performed well in 2013, the report said. Both markets are below 6 percent vacancy and have added the largest amount of square footage. Vacancy on University Drive, which is Huntsville’s largest retail market, spiked to 16.57 percent.

“The vacancy rate for this submarket was Huntsville’s highest as several large blocks of space remain unfilled,” the report said. “Madison Square Mall, for example, has over 165,000 square feet available, with vacancy to greatly increase in 2014 as Belk exits the building for its new Bridge Street Town Centre location.”

Vacancy was only 2.8 percent in Jones Valley, which will add more than 200,000 square foot of inventory and welcome several new planned projects this year.

The vacancy rate grew in both North and South Huntsville, but not all is lost.

“The road construction projects on North and South Memorial Parkway have been completed and consumers now have easier access to these properties,” the report said. “A new Grissom High School is being constructed near South Memorial Parkway, which should revitalize that area’s retail needs.”

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Sam Warbington joins Graham & Company as Property Manager

June 25th, 2014
Sam Warbington, Property Manager

Sam Warbington, Property Manager

Graham & Co Birmingham is pleased to announce our new Property Manager, Sam Warbington. Sam has 35 years of property management experience. In his position Sam will be responsible for overseeing 3.5 million square feet of industrial properties within Graham’s portfolio. In this role he will be responsible for financial performance, construction management, contractor selection and facilities management.

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Office building in Grandview sold to investor

June 24th, 2014

Grandview I has been sold to KBC LLC.

Grandview I has been sold to KBC LLC.

Grandview I, a Class-A office building in Birmingham has sold.

The 114,552 square-foot six-story office building – located in what is expected to become a major growth area in the years to come- was sold to KBC LLC by Redus Alabama Commercial LLC.

Dan Lovell of Graham & Co. represented the seller in the investment sale. Keith Hazelrig of Hazelrig Realty represented to buyer of the property. According to public records, KBC LLC Is registered to William Cobb Hazelrig.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

“The Class-A asset received multiple offers and was purchased as a value-add opportunity in a submarket that is expected to see increased activity,” a release from Graham & Co. said.

The office building sits on 7.5 acres at 3535 Grandview Parkway near the intersection of U.S. 280 and I-459. It is near the 1 million-square-foot Grandview Medical Center that is currently under construction.

The U.S. 280 submarket is one of Birmingham’s largest when it comes to office with 6.6 million square feet of office space.

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Birmingham OKs incentives for $60M VA project

June 18th, 2014

One week after the Jefferson County Commission granted a non-educational property tax abatement for the 2,300 parking space garage at the new Veterans Affairs facility, the Birmingham City Council approved a request from the project’s developers for incentives.

According to a report from, Councilwoman Shelia Tyson requested a week delay in order for the project’s developer, Graham & Co., to field more questions about the amount of money requested.

But after the City Council decided to table the request for a week, the board took a second look at the issue on Tuesday and decided to grant the request, according to the report.

The developer requested $330,000 from the city that would be made in two annual payments of $165,000. Non-educational property taxes would also be abated for two years under the incentives agreement.

The $60 million Veterans Affairs Medical Clinic, which is slated to open October 2015 will bring more than 2,000 VA employees to the Southside facility.

Related: Meet The BBJ’s Commercial Real Estate Deals of the Year

The eight-story parking deck will be located adjacent to the 70,000 square-foot clinic at a block formed by 24 th and 25 th Streets and University Blvd. and Seventh Ave. S.

Graham & Co. closed on the property in April for $6.5 million.

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