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Ex-Schott Solar plant on lease market

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The former Schott Solar plant, once one of Albuquerque’s economic development success stories, has formally come on the lease market at what could be described as priced to move.

Built with $105 million in industrial revenue bonds and opened in May 2009, the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility – it’s actually comprised of two buildings – is now being actively marketed at an asking lease rate of $5.50 a square foot by Jim Smith and Lynetta Williamson of CBRE.

Schott’s asking rate is 12 percent lower than the market average of $6.24 a square foot for manufacturing space in the metro, according to data from CBRE, a commercial real-estate services firm. The market average includes asking lease rates for a lot of older, less-functional buildings by today’s standards.

Schott’s asking rate is almost 25 percent lower than the average asking lease rate of $7.29 a square foot for manufacturing space in the North I-25 submarket, which has a more contemporary inventory of buildings.

The Schott property is priced to compete for a broad range of potential users on a regional basis, said Jim Chynoweth, managing director of CBRE’s Albuquerque office.

“This is a unique property,” he said. “We really don’t have any competition in the metro for this type of building. Our competition is in Phoenix, Dallas, Denver and West Texas. There’s as good a chance the end user will come from out of state as from here.”

The 133,022-square-foot “north” building, which Schott used for making utility-scale solar power-plant components, is described in the marketing material as having “semiconductor manufacturing attributes.” It has heavy power, a compressed air system, deionized water, sophisticated HVAC and other upgrades.

The 59,103-square-foot “south” building, which Schott used for assembling rooftop solar panels, has fewer bells and whistles but is still high-end.

The buildings, which are also for sale for an undisclosed price, are located at 5201 Hawking SE at Mesa del Sol, the 12,900-acre master-planned community south of the Sunport.

Schott AG, based in Germany, picked Albuquerque in early 2008 after a site selection search that covered North America. The Mesa del Sol plant had the capacity for 350 workers and the potential for expansion to up to 1,500. The plant closed in June 2012.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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