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Former Des Moines printing facility is sold for $26.2 million

Property in southwest Des Moines that includes a structure that once housed Meredith Corp. and R.R. Donnelley’s printing facilities has been purchased by a group of mostly out-of-state investors, Polk County real estate records show.

The property at 5701 Park Ave., which includes nearly 50 acres and a 526,295-square-foot warehouse, was sold for $26.2 million in a transaction that was recorded July 27.

The property includes about 32 acres of undeveloped land and is valued at $15.5 million, according to the Polk County assessor.

The warehouse, which has been updated, is leased to Quality Manufacturing Corp., said Richard Hurd, founder and president of Hurd Real Estate Group, who bought the property in 2004.

Shortly after Hurd acquired the property, he entered a partnership with Palamar Industrial LLC, managed by David Hansen, president of Signature Commercial Real Estate.

Hurd and Palamar Industrial sold the property to a group that includes:

• 4427 IA LLC, a Kansas limited liability company with a 54% interest in the property.
• 5701 Park Partners LLC, an Iowa limited liability company with an 11.4% interest in the property.
• 5701 Investors LLC, a Missouri limited liability company with a 10.2% interest in the property.
• Park Avenue Industrial Developers LLC, a Kansas limited liability company with a 9% interest in the property.
• McMann Property Managements III LLC, a Missouri limited liability company with a 5.4% interest in the property.
• FCubed DSM 5701 LLC, a Missouri limited liability company with a 5.4% interest in the property.
• Block Paola IA LLC, a Kansas limited liability company with a 4.6% interest in the property.

The warehouse was constructed in 1958 by Des Moines-based Meredith Corp., the publisher of Better Homes and Gardens and other publications. The company sold its interest in the Meredith/Burda printing partnership to R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. in 1990. The sale included the Park Avenue printing facility.

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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