The 309,000-square-foot former home of Nachi Machining’s North American headquarters is vacant no more. Purchased by The Foam Factory at the close of 2011, the building will house not one, but two industries by the end of 2012.
“I’m ecstatic and pleased beyond belief to get that building filled,” said Mark Grabow, township supervisor. “Macomb Township is ecstatic to have a tenant and the ancillary of (employees) going to the (surrounding) local businesses and spending money – that’s the big thing. That’s the economic growth and the pattern we look forward to.”
Before The Foam Factory relocates to the facility at 17500 23 Mile Road, R&E Automated Systems, a developer of industrial robotic systems currently out of Sterling Heights, will lease the building to expand its industry and workforce.
“Christmas came early for us,” said Rachel Badalementi, daughter-in-law of The Foam Factory’s owner. “In mid-December (2011) we were approached that there was a tenant interested (in the building). The first week in January we signed the lease with R&E Automated Systems.”
For the next nine months, R&E will have use of the entire building. Then, according to the lease agreement, it will relocate to the building’s back 150,000 square feet to make room for The Foam Factory, which will use the remaining square footage for a five-year term.
But the gains won’t be in workspace alone.
“We have 40 employees and plan to double (our workforce) when we move into the building,” Badalementi said. “R&E will bring its own 100, and plans, by end of this year, to have a second shift with another 100 employees. (Those are) 280 employees now operating out of a once vacant building.”
Although The Foam Factory explored industrial sites in other areas of Macomb and Oakland County, Badalementi said her family needed little persuasion to relocate their business to Macomb Township.
“The building so marketable that we are so grateful that the township helped us to acquire it,” Badalementi said. “Furthermore we are proud to be in Macomb Township.”
With the aid of the township, The Foam Factory was able to close the sale within 30 days–a record in the world of commercial real estate.
“We are glad we brought our business here, and we’re excited to bring those employees to your businesses and your community,” Badalementi said.
Grabow said he is also pleased about what the move will mean for Macomb Township financially.
"(The Foam Factory) is a taxpayer ... we have empty buildings we’re providing fire and police services for without getting any type of return. Now we’re actually able to get that and the businesses locally get additional money coming in because (R&E and Foam Factory employees) are spending."