Commercial Real Estate and Fishers and Commercial Leases and Brokers and Regional News and Real Estate & Retail

Marsh renews effort to sublease headquarters

April 20, 2010

Marsh Supermarkets has embarked on a fresh effort to sublease its former headquarters in Fishers, one of the largest such spaces in the Indianapolis market. The effort comes almost two years after a previous deal for the space unraveled, sending Marsh to court in an attempt to rescue the deal.

Most of the 148,000-square-foot headquarters building just north and east of the 96th Street/Interstate 69 interchange is empty. Marsh still occupies about 20,000 square feet but has moved most of its headquarters personnel to 333 S. Franklin Road on the east side.

The grocer will vacate the rest of the building if Jon Owens, the Cassidy Turley broker who recently listed it, can find a user to sublease the building.

Owens was close to listing the building in 2008 after Florida-based Sun Capital Partners bought Marsh and began whittling down expenses. The headquarters, which is 160,000 square feet when an auditorium, cafeteria, fitness center and other common areas are included, was one of the first things to go.

NAI Olympia Partners got the listing instead of Owens when it brought Roche Diagnostics to the table. Roche agreed to lease the entire building from Marsh in an 18-year deal worth more than $47 million, but Roche abruptly pulled out of the deal that spring.

Marsh has been trying to enforce the lease in court ever since. A trial is scheduled for next March, but the two parties are reportedly close to a settlement.

Connie Gardner, a Marsh spokeswoman, said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Regardless of the outcome of the legal battle, it’s clear Roche isn’t going to occupy the space, and now it is Owens’ job to market it. The building, built to accommodate 400 employees, was designed as a corporate headquarters. “The highest and best use would be a single subtenant,” said Owens, who wouldn’t rule out leasing the building to a collection of smaller tenants.

Owens wouldn’t say what the asking price is to rent the building. The price will depend to a large degree on the tenant that is identified, he said.

Among the groups helping Owens market the building is the Hamilton County Alliance, which promotes economic development in the county.

Jeff Burt, president of the Alliance, said headquarters operations with fewer than 500 employees are one of his group’s favorite targets, making the Marsh headquarters a good match for the economic development efforts of the Alliance.

A company already located here that wants to relocate or consolidate its headquarters is probably a more likely prospect than a company that would be lured here from out of town, Burt said.

Other buildings in the I-69 corridor trying to find tenants include the 110,000-square-foot One Concourse building at Concourse at Crosspoint. The building just south of 106th Street was developed by locally based Edgeworth Laskey. One of the few speculative buildings that came online in 2009, One Concourse is designed for multiple tenants.
 

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