Partner was engaged by the lender to perform the Engineering and Environmental Due Diligence (Property Condition Assessment and Phase I Environmental Site Assessment) on the Livonia Distribution Center, a 1 million SF industrial facility located in Livonia, Wayne County, Michigan. Built in 1971 the property later expanded in 1978 by 462,000 SF. The former General Motors (GM) manufacturing facility closed its operations at the building in 2010 after declaring bankruptcy in 2009. This facility changed hands several times before Ashley Capital acquired the facility in November 2015. Between the time of GM’s vacancy and Ashley’s acquisition, the Property was neglected and no renovation program was undertaken. The occupancy rate at the time of Ashley’s acquisition was 9%.
Since that time, the Detroit economy has continued to strengthen and grow, leading corporations and companies from different industries to establish a presence in the region. The lack of construction between 2008-2013 left Detroit, more specifically a pro-business city like Livonia, with a significant number of buildings considered functionally obsolete and outdated. Industrial tenants seeking to grow and lease were forced to settle with old and less desirable space at unfavorable rates because of the low inventory of functional space. With a keen understanding of the local market and economy, Ashley saw the need for an asset offering modern industrial features. Ashley started the renovation process in the spring of 2016. The renovated Property appealed to a large regional audience during its leasing phase, resulting in today’s occupancy rate of 100% (one year ahead of schedule, as well as one month after the renovation was complete). Ashley has secured leases with high-quality tenants, which include: Penske Logistics, Hollingsworth Logistics, KUKA Systems, Roush Holdings, and Veritiv.