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Ambrose jumping into Plainfield industrial market

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Ambrose Property Group, whose multi-family and office deals have made headlines recently, is staking a claim in the industrial sector with plans for a $12 million, modern bulk warehouse building in Plainfield.

Last month, the company bought a 21-acre site at Metropolis and Airtech parkways from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The FDIC ended up with the property after the failure of Irwin Union Bank. Irwin had taken it back from Chris White, the bankrupt developer of the Metropolis retail project, which is just west of the property.

Aasif Bade, who founded Ambrose in 2008, said his firm is looking for a capital partner for the proposed 300,000-square-foot industrial building. Bade said the project could start yet this fall. If a deal isn’t assembled in the next several weeks, Ambrose will wait until spring to pursue the project.

The speculative building would be the first in the industrial segment for Ambrose, although the 15-employee company has plenty of background on the industrial side. Bade worked in industrial leasing and development for Duke Realty Corp. before striking out on his own. And Kyle Powell, an Ambrose vice president, was formerly an industrial broker with Cassidy Turley.

The Plainfield industrial submarket is among the strongest in the metro area and is awash in construction, including a 622,000-square-foot spec building Browning Investments and ProLogis started in July. The modern bulk warehouse building, on Ronald Reagan Parkway just north of Stafford Road, is expandable to 889,000 square feet. It comes online in December.

Other spec developments include a 450,000-square-foot building at Stanley and Perry roads being developed by Kansas City-based VanTrust Real Estate LLC. It broke ground in May. Atlanta-based Industrial Developments International is building 795,000 square feet of spec space in Ameriplex.

Because of their size, the Browning and IDI buildings are likely to compete for some of the same tenants, said Dennis Dye, Browning’s executive vice president. Ambrose and VanTrust would go after smaller users.

Bade said the Ambrose building would appeal to tenants as small as 120,000 square feet, distinguishing it from the larger projects being built nearby.

Ambrose wasn’t necessarily trying to break into the industrial market, Bade said. The company’s goal is simply to find opportunities to add value. “It’s an awesome opportunity for industrial,” he said of the Plainfield site.

The company has found numerous opportunities in recent months to add value in other real estate sectors.

Ambrose recently put under contract the 16-story Circle Tower office building on Monument Circle, a landmark property it intends to buy for about $6 million from Boston-based Winthrop Realty Trust. Bade told IBJ last week his firm would move its offices there from 96th and Meridian streets.

The company is also partnering with locally based The Whitsett Group on two high-profile downtown apartment projects. The conversion of the 10-story American Building at 333 N. Pennsylvania St. from offices to apartments is about to begin. Ambrose and Whitsett, an experienced developer of apartments, are also negotiating to buy the vacant Consolidated Building at 115 N. Pennsylvania St. for an apartment conversion.

 

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