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Terrus hopes to give Newton’s Maytag campus new life


Terrus Real Estate Group has embarked on a mission to find tenants to fill what Terrus Vice President Christopher Pendroy calls “the largest block of contiguous space in the state of Iowa.”

Located in Newton, the space was originally a manufacturing and distribution plant for Maytag Corp. and encompasses approximately 2 million square feet of warehouse and office space on a 150-acre campus just north of the city. It has been renamed the Newton Business Center.

Industrial Reality Group LLC, a Los Angeles-based firm that owns more than 50 million square feet of warehouse space nationally, purchased the property after the plant closed in 2007. Terrus was contracted to fill the remaining 1.4 million square feet that has not yet been leased, and to attract six to 11 renters, depending on the tenants’ space requirements.

The space available is split between two large warehouses. The first is the old manufacturing plant and has approximately 1 million square feet of vacant space, and the other was once used as a finishing and distribution center and has 400,000 square feet available. There is also a 46,044-square-foot, three-story office building available for lease. The clearance heights range from 21 to 45 feet, and column spacing throughout the entire complex is 50 by 50 feet or greater.

A generous sprinkling of restrooms and natural division points, due to the complex’s numerous expansions since the 1940s, makes the space easy to subdivide, said Pendroy.

“The ownership is anxious to get some more tenants in the building,” Pendroy said. “They’re willing to be creative to fit the needs of the tenants, such as demolishing areas specific to Whirlpool (Corp.) or adding more loading areas.”

The property includes numerous docking stations and drive-in areas and is also served by Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. The buildings also house some cranes capable of lifting upwards of 40 tons and 13.2 kilovolt power service is available. Pendroy said there is also a significant amount of parking for both employee vehicles and trucks.

“There are a lot of options for a tenant to explore here: clearance height, cranes, available docks, drive-ins,” said Kermit Marsh, another vice president at Terrus.

Some companies have already taken up residence in the Newton Business Center. The largest of the tenants is Trinity Structural Towers Inc., which builds steel towers for wind turbines. It has leased 300,000 square feet of space on the west end of the old factory.

Space in the old manufacturing plant is being rented for $1.95 to $2.25 per square foot, and space in the distribution plant is $2 per square foot. Pendroy said the operating costs are about 40 cents per square foot on top of the rent.

“If you’re willing to go out to Newton, you can get some very attractive lease rates as compared to Des Moines,” Pendroy said.

Pendroy said the access to laborers, from both Newton and Des Moines, also makes the property attractive. He is working with local governments and the Newton Development Corp. on the project to ensure that the project does the most good possible.

“We are looking for long-term tenants that are going to stay awhile and bring energy and jobs to the community,” Pendroy said. “I’ve viewed (the local governments) as a part of my team.”

“Not only is it good for Newton, but it is also good for the region and Iowa,” said Frank Liebl, the executive director of Newton Development. “As you fill a facility that large, it will mean a lot of quality jobs.”

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