A Growing Enterprise
When Shannon Waterman was hired to manage the St. Louis branch of Insulite Glass Company in 2004, he found himself at the leading edge of flat glass fabrication.
Founded by Beau Guyette in Olathe, Kansas, the company manufactures insulated glass for buildings ranging from single-family homes to skyscrapers. They ship the glass throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Oklahoma.
In 2000, Guyette became an early-adopter of an automated manufacturing process. It catapulted Insulite’s growth, leading them to add to their staff and open the St. Louis location.
After several successful years leasing their current space in Soulard, when Waterman called to renew their lease in early 2019, he received some challenging news.
The anchor tenant was planning to expand, and Insulite had five months to move out.
Industrial Warehouse for Sale or Lease—Searching St. Louis
Insulite’s custom process and equipment required them to find a very specific kind of building.
First, workers move glass through their warehouse using a crane with an 18-foot hook height. The crane swings through the building, requiring open space both vertically and horizontally. Unfortunately, most warehouses are constructed with numerous supporting poles that wouldn’t allow for such a crane.
The building also needed garage doors at street level so trucks could drive directly into the warehouse space. Dock-height doors were out of the question as the glass needs to be placed directly onto the truck from above.
Though ramps could be installed, they increased the likelihood of breakage. And if the glass happens to break during this sensitive process, the St. Louis branch doesn’t have the resources to recut it. They would have to wait for another shipment from headquarters in Olathe.
Guyette and Waterman had moved the branch twice before, each time having relied on the expertise of Will Aschinger at Hilliker Corporation. They called on Aschinger again.
Since Aschinger already knew the particularities of their business, they were confident he could help match them to a new space.
As the team went looking for properties, Waterman asked his staff if they would be willing to move to a new part of the St. Louis area. He was relieved to find out they were. With their needs in mind, Aschinger and Waterman began touring properties in Soulard, Hanley Industrial, Fenton, Arnold, and even Hillsboro.
After viewing approximately 30 properties, Waterman finally stopped to notice a new industrial warehouse under construction near his home. Located in Pacific and under development by Joe Bosse of NEC Commercial, he wondered if the new building would be available for lease.
Going from Leasing “Paying Yourself Rent”
Aschinger was on the case. He discovered the building at 509 Route 66 Business Parkway would be 20,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. It sits on more than an acre of land, leaving room to grow. It has an open warehouse and can accommodate street-level garage doors.
Not only that, it was still under construction when they discovered it. The building could be customized to the new occupant’s specifications—even allowing for the installation of a crane before exterior walls were completed.
It was perfect for Insulite.
The building was listed “For Lease or Sale,” and Guyette decided to put in an offer on the property. Though leasing had worked well in the past, Guyette wanted to build equity and obtain control of their real estate.
Aschinger negotiated a deal that would permit Insulite to move their operation in on closing day, allowing them to keep production up and revenue flowing.
Waterman doesn’t anticipate losing any staff members, and they’re ready to add positions as well. They believe the area around Pacific will provide them with the talent pool needed to bring them into the future.
Insulite Glass, represented by Will Aschinger, purchased 509 Route 66 Business Parkway for $1,202,000.
Real Estate Consultation for Every Business
Do you have a unique service or product? A process or equipment that requires a customized building? Employees or customers that need you to stay in a specific geographic location?
Hilliker brokers are attuned to your needs, working to find a “solve” for whatever problem you face. They know the St. Louis area and know how to match your needs to available properties.
If you’re ready to find commercial real estate for your unique business, call us to find out how we can help get you the space you need.