IBJNews

Baldwin move a win for Lauth, a setback for downtown

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The departure of trucking and auto fleet insurer Baldwin & Lyons Inc. from downtown's Landmark Center to The Congressional in Carmel is a blow for the central business district and a bonanza for Lauth Property Group.

Baldwin plans to vacate 81,000 square feet in the Landmark Center at 1099 N. Meridian St. when its lease expires in August, relocating to Carmel to take about 110,000 square feet in The Congressional at 111 Congressional Blvd.

The company plans to spend $20 million to $30 million to buy the 181,000-square-foot office building from Lauth and build out its space, according to a statement from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Lauth bought the building in February 2012 from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. for $7.1 million and spent about $2 million on renovations including lobby improvements and a new roof. The build-out of Baldwin's space could run about $5 million, or $45 per foot, industry sources said. The company is expected to spend another $5 million or more on technology, furniture and equipment.

That would leave a sale price between $15 million and $20 million, an impressive return on Lauth's investment. The arrival of Baldwin & Lyons would make the building about 90-percent occupied. When Lauth stepped in, the building was just 30 percent occupied and owner REI Real Estate Services had deeded the property to its lender.

Lauth President Michael Jones declined to disclose a sales price, citing a confidentiality agreement.

"Real estate is all about timing," he said. "We were a proud owner and excited at the opportunity to buy a great asset in a thriving corridor."

Baldwin & Lyons is expected to take most of the space HSBC Bank vacated at the height of the mortgage crisis. Lauth also has its headquarters in the building.

"There's no question Lauth comes out of this smelling like a rose," said Jon Owens, vice president and principal in the local office of Cassidy Turley. "Whatever debt they took on goes away and they make a healthy profit."

Meantime, the Baldwin & Lyons move is a fresh blow to the troubled, 298,000-square-foot Landmark Center, which has been hemorrhaging tenants in the last few years, the largest of which was Anthem. The 12-story building, last owned by Michigan-based Quantum Investments, is in receivership.

Issues with the building include deferred maintenance and a big parking downside: Most of its parking sits under the nearby Interstate overpass.

Owens said LNR Property, the servicer on the loan for Landmark Center, might auction the property. A buyer willing to take a chance could buy it well below replacement value and potentially reap a windfall like Lauth's in Carmel.

While it's tough for downtown to lose such a large employer and office user, Owens said, there wasn't much the city could have done. There aren't comparable buildings available for purchase downtown. 

"It's an unfortunate situation where one submarket loses and one is a winnner," Owens said. "We just don't have enough inbound demand from office users to offset some of the consolidation and right-sizing some of the larger users in the downtown market have done over the last decade or so, particularly the banks."

Rich Forslund and Matt Waggoner of Summit Realty represented Baldwin & Lyons on the deal, and Rick Trimpe and John Vandenbark of CBRE represented Lauth.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Maybe
    Congratulations Lauth Co, maybe you could pay back some of the money you received from the banks during your two bankrupcies.
  • Au Revoir, Indy
    "It's an unfortunate situation where one submarket loses and one is a winnner," Owens said. "We just don't have enough inbound demand from office users to offset some of the consolidation and right-sizing some of the larger users in the downtown market have done over the last decade or so, particularly the banks." What a load. Nobody wants to be downtown. Nobody wants to be in Marion County. Very soon, nobody will be. Good job, Mayor McJet-Setter.
  • HELP!!!!!!!!!!
    And how much in tax credits could the Star expect if they move here? No doubt Gannett thinks they could produce this paper just as well from Illinois.
  • Indy Star?
    Will this be where the Indianapolis Star moves to? It kinda makes sense seeing as WTHR is across the street.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

ADVERTISEMENT