R.R. Donnelley, a large U.S. commercial printer based in Chicago, closed the Des Moines facility in 2002. The plant employed about 775 people, according to archived news reports.
Hurd (pictured) said the property was listed for sale for about three years before he made an offer to buy it.
“I knew we’d have to convert it – it was not going to be a printing facility again,” he said. “We converted it to open bay warehousing.”
Monsanto, an agrochemical company, leased the building for about 12 years, and now Quality Manufacturing is a tenant, Hurd said.
The Block real estate group out of Kansas City approached the property owners about selling the warehouse and surrounding land, he said. “We thought it might be a good time to sell.”
Hurd said Central Iowa properties continues to generate interest from out-of-state buyers.
“We’re not overbuilt on the industrial product, and I think the recognition of the intersection of [Interstate highways] 35 and 80 is helping make people realize this is a good place to be,” he said.
Central Iowa also is a stable market and investors get a bigger return on investments than they do in other parts of the country, Hurd said.
“When they look at the Midwest, they find it an attractive place to be,” he said.
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