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Partnership pays $20M for Weyerhaeuser plant


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POSTED: Saturday, May 30, 2009

The former Weyerhaeuser box plant at 900 N. Nimitz Highway has been sold to a local partnership for $20 million.

;  The partnership, which includes the owners of longtime local businesses Ba-Le Inc. and Island Flooring Co. Inc., closed on the deal yesterday. Both will use parts of the property for their operations.

“;It is a natural fit for the new owners,”; said Scott L. Mitchell, co-listing broker at Colliers Monroe Friedlander.

The two-story warehouse, which once housed the Weyerhaeuser Co.'s corrugated-packaging facility, offers 165,900 square feet of space on four acres of industrial mixed-use land near Home Depot.

It was built in 1942 and comes with 12 grade-level loading docks, three heavy-load freight elevators and 145 parking stalls.

Weyerhaeuser shut down in March 2008 after 50 years of serving Hawaii's marketplace, letting go of about 85 employees.

The property was listed in September for a minimum bid of $22 million.

The Honolulu industrial vacancy rate jumped to 5 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to Colliers, the highest since 1999, making it a more challenging market than in past years.

But Colliers co-listing broker Guy Kidder said, “;There is always at least one good buyer for every property, and when this buyer surfaced, we knew it was the right deal.”;

Tranh Quoc Lam, owner of Ba-Le, said the property will allow him to continue expanding his business, which includes both its sandwich and bakery shops and retail products. Ba-Le supplies baked artisanal breads and desserts to Whole Foods Market.