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Automatic Controls Positioned for Future Opportunities

Automatic Controls Positioned for Future Opportunities

Written By Cory Edwards

On July 1, 2020

This second-generation family business partnered with Will Aschinger of Hilliker Corporation to find an ideal buyer for their commercial office space.

Leaders in Energy Efficiency

In 1978, Robert Vogt , Sr., started Automatic Controls, a business that provided installation and support for pneumatic controls in HVAC systems. His two sons, Bob Jr. and Justin, grew up in the company. Each developed his own specialty over time.

They eventually inherited the company from their father. By then, the business had evolved. Now, they design and install automated energy systems for:

  • Commercial properties
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Hospitals
  • Data Centers
  • Office Buildings

Their work saves organizations money and helps the environment at the same time.

Their father had purchased a building at 11088 Gravois Industrial to house the business. At two stories tall and over ten thousand square feet, it contains an office, showroom, and warehouse. Through the years, the Vogt family leveraged their expertise to turn it into an amazingly energy-efficient property.

For example, the building has a large glass front, so the Vogt family employed window glazing and blinds to make sure the temperature stayed moderate in the showroom. They also added solar panels and to the top of the building and added extra insulation.

They also installed all of their own energy-efficient control systems, including motion-sensor-controlled lights and fans.

The result is low utility bills and an extremely comfortable environment. But when Bob Vogt, Jr., separated from the family business after thirty years, he and Justin decided it was time to divest themselves of the family-owned building as well.

Exit Strategy for a Legacy Commercial Property

A. William Aschinger
After seeing Hilliker Commercial Real Estate signs in the area for many years, Bob looked at the many positive reviews for Hilliker online. He called and connected with broker Will Aschinger. 

Aschinger’s knowledge of the area, willingness to help, and clear marketing strategy impressed Bob. Once implemented, the strategy paid off almost immediately.

A Perfect Fit

When Bob and Justin partnered with Will Aschinger, Ryan Grayem of Air Cleaning Specialists, Inc. (ACS)was looking for a new building. ACS works in the field of air filtration, helping improve indoor air quality (IAQ) in both industrial and commercial applications.

ACS’s history and business model were eerily similar to those of Automatic Controls. Ryan’s father, James, founded the business in 1979, chiefly to sell and install smoke eaters at restaurants and exhaust pumpers at firehouses. As the business grew, Ryan took over, moving ACS to a web-based company with specialties over a variety of industries. Now, they serve organizations throughout the country.

Their lack of space also meant it was hard to display their suite of products for out of town guests. Ryan’s hoped to find commercial office space that included a showroom—or would at least allow him to build one. Working with King Realty Advisors, the company was ready to move, having outgrown their current office building. Ryan said simply, “People were sitting on each other.”

Their warehouse needs, while small, were also at capacity. Ryan said, “We were stacking our small replacement parts and fittings all the way to the ceiling.” Their old building had also been prone to flood, and they were hoping to reduce the risk and hassle of occasional flooding. After looking for four months within a ten-mile radius of his previous South County space, their King Realty Advisors brokers connected them with Aschinger and the building at 11088 Gravois Industrial.

When Grayem toured the building for the first time, he saw it was precisely what his company would need to best serve its objectives. He said, “It’s a very open and comfortable building. The previous owners did a good job—everything’s high end and automated.” It worked perfectly for ACS. The two parties negotiated a win-win deal. Grayem only needed to make minor modifications to the building, and the Vogt family was able to divest themselves of their property.

Now, both companies are in their new spaces and moving full speed ahead.

The Deal

  • Seller: Robert Vogt, Sr., LLC (Bob Jr. and Justin Vogt)
  • Seller’s Representative: Will Aschinger and Brendan O’Brien of Hilliker Corporation
  • Buyer: Air Cleaning Specialists, Inc
  • Buyer’s Representative: King Realty Advisors
  • Address: 11088 Gravois Industrial Court
  • Size: 10,635 Square Feet
  • Sale Price: $1,110,000

The Perfect Fit for Your Industry

Not every piece of commercial property makes sense for you and your business forever. As you grow or the structure of your business changes, you need someone who can match your building with someone else’s wish list.

That’s what we do at Hilliker Corporation. We create a marketing plan that connects your property with someone else’s wish list. If you’d like to learn more about what Hilliker can do for you, connect with our broker, Will Aschinger.

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