Chicago‑When EKCO Group Inc.'s housewares manufacturing business wanted to consolidate operations from five different facilities into one location last year, the Chicago office of real estate services firm Alliance Capital Markets, Inc. came up with a solution that seemed too good to be true. In fact, one EKCO board member simply refused to believe the deal was for real, according to Ed Hayes, who at the time was senior vice president of operations for EKCO.
It was. The only firm to make the effort to complete an extensive survey of possible sites that represented a true array of choices, markets and properties for the client‑to‑be, Alliance found a good site that was not even on the market. It also oversaw the project bidding process, worked with the municipality of Monee, Ill., to secure a tax increment financing district in addition to an $18 million incentives package, and found an ultimate buyer for the sale‑leaseback property.
To boot, Alliance clobbered the $3.69 per‑square‑foot net rent benchmark EKCO gave it, driving its cost down to $2.28 a foot, beating the market by about 40 percent and saving the client some $1.8 million a year, according to Alliance senior managing director of the Midwest region Bret Broaddus.
It ended up being Illinois' largest BTS/structured finance asset for 1999 at more than 700,000 square feet our relationship with the Alliance proved to be very profitable as a result of an exclusive contract in exchange for the focused dedication Alliance Capital gave to the project, Hayes concluded.
"I really felt from the get‑go that they were going to join us at the hip, they were going to steer us at what we wanted ... what was going to be good for EKCO housewares," recalled Hayes, now the COO at Gund Inc. "It was almost as if they were EKCO employees. That was the sense I got; that was the comfort level I had."
Alliance Sale Leaseback Brochure