Commercial real estate financier Prime Finance has provided the New York-based private equity firm with bridge debt of just under USD 17.3 million SomeraRoad for the purchase of a majority stake in the historic Stutz factory Commercial Observer has built several blocks north of Indianapolis’ central business district.
SomeraRoad bought the majority stake outside of the market and planned a gradual, multi-year renovation of the former The Stutz Motor Car Co. plant, which was originally built in 1911 and served as the company’s car manufacturing facility until about 1934, was not disclosed. According to sources, the cost of the first phase of the redevelopment will be around $ 65 million. This bridge financing from Prime closed on January 28th.
Prime Finance was unable to comment or provide additional information prior to publication.
Private local investor, philanthropist and collector Turner Woodard sold his controlling stake in SomeraRoad more than a year after the company first met with him to discuss his interest in the site, which includes five four-story buildings connected by small bridges. The property – also called The Stutz Business & Arts Center – houses an artist collective, a bar and a restaurant as well as a floor with a variety of classic sports and luxury vehicles.
Basel BatainehThe vice president of acquisitions at SomeraRoad told CO after the company first noticed the asset and contacted a local broker to get an introduction to Woodard. “[the broker] laughed at us and told us that local developers had been trying to buy the building for years and Turner wasn’t a seller. “
SomeraRoad, who has a knack for finding, buying, and renovating historic or distressed buildings in secondary markets, including Nashville; Memphis; Pittsburgh; and Kansas City, Missouri, was impressed with how “architecturally unique and significant [Stutz] “said Bataineh. “It’s a beautiful, historic building and when [we] I saw it for the first time and piqued our interest. ”
Talks between Woodard and SomeraRoad were ongoing towards the end of 2019, Bataineh said. The company “spent six months getting to know him before we finally agreed on a deal to acquire the asset.”
“The time is now, the time is right,” Woodard said in a statement as part of the sale’s announcement. He and his son Turner John Woodard, held onto a small minority stake and will act as an advisor on the redevelopment of the property the family bought in 1992. “We have had a lot of success with the rescue and development of the Stutz factory over the past 28 years. We have made great strides as the downtown area has grown around us, but it is time for our new and innovative partners to expand and update the factory with modern features and amenities. “
The old automobile factory is located in 1060 North Capitol Avenue in a designated opportunity zone in the middle of the Indianapolis metropolis. It is surrounded by health and laboratory facilities, federal agencies, food and beverage stores, retail stores, storage rooms, and public parking spaces. It’s also just a few blocks east of the city’s scenic Canal Walk, which branches off the White River and runs north parallel to North West Street through the center of the city.
“To us, [it] screamed for adaptive reuse, ”said Bataineh. “It has a lot of things people love to see today – unique architecture, rich history, high ceilings, large floor slabs, incredible skylights, and indoor and outdoor alleys that run through the factory.”
He added that the building’s layout “was not a surprise when we learned” that 90 percent or more of it was occupied by a “diverse mix of tenants, including creative agencies, artists, small businesses, design and architecture firms, makers and more.”
SomeraRoad will partner with S9 architecture In his adaptive reuse project, Bataineh said, adding that “we knew we had to implement S9 Architecture to guide the design,” based on the architecture firm’s previous work Ponce city market in Atlanta as well Industrial city and Empire Stores in the Sunset Park and Dumbo neighborhoods of Brooklyn. “[They brought those projects together] in a thoughtful way that takes history and introduces the modern conveniences that people expect today. “
“Our plan is to work closely with existing tenants. [Woodard], the Stutz artists’ associationand surrounding businesses and organizations to create something truly unique and special in Indianapolis, including a museum that displays Turner’s automotive collection, ”said SomeraRoad, Founder and Director Ian Ross said in a statement.
The company’s adaptive recycle campaign will be “spanning several years and we intend to keep it long term,” said Bataineh, in part due to the “strong tailwind” for Indianapolis growth and the “incredible downtown walkable environment of the city with good.” Conditions “. planned districts and a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly street scene. “
Last August, Indiana University Health revealed plans for $ 1.6 billion in consolidation and expansion The new 44 hectare campus is being built south of the US state Indianapolis IU Health Methodist Hospital, which is north of the Stutz settlement. IU Health Methodist is being renovated and integrated into the wider campus that will also belong to it IU Health University Hospital as part of the consolidation.
The city is also home to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) headquarters, which means it will host much of the games in this year’s NCAA College Basketball March Madness tournament due to the pandemic.
The Stutz factory has shaped the city and its inner city in a unique way.
According to information about the Woodard property, the car engineer and designer Harry C. Stutz and the Stutz Motor Car Co. from partner Henry Campbell used the facility to assemble, paint, inspect and then test new cars Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the city’s golden age for automobile manufacturing from 1900 to 1930.
The Stutz Motor Car Co. came together after Stutz designed the Stutz Bearcat racing car for the nation’s first Indianapolis 500 Run. The car gained recognition and, according to Woodard, led to the creation of the company.
The market for Stutz ‘models dried up after the Great Depression; The last vehicle to be made that left the garage was in 1934, and the company closed three years later.
“We have a team that shares [Woodard’s] Appreciation for the history and cultural significance of the property, ”Ross said in a statement. “We want to take the time to renovate the Stutz in order to ensure that it can be reused appropriately and that it is successful over the long term.”