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Economy and Business

Owner of the Lockheed property says manufacturing space is at a premium
Lockheed's move from Akron will leave about a million square feet of space to fill

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

With Lockheed Martin’s announcement that it’s leaving Akron by 2015, Stuart Lichter’s job got harder. But the owner of the southeast Akron industrial complex says in one way, the move could not have come at a better time.

LISTEN: Lichter on marketing Lockheed facility

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The Industrial Realty Group bought about two million square feet of Lockheed Martin’s Akron Campus in 2005, consolidated the defense contractor into about half the space, and leased out the rest to small companies.

Now IRG’s Lichter and his Ohio partner Chris Semarjian are going to have to find tenants for the defense contractor’s share of the massive space.

Lichter says the announcement surprised him and no landlord wants to lose a tenant like Lockheed. But, “There’s a lot of companies that have been looking for space in Northeast Ohio and there’s actually a shortage of facilities. I think it’s the probably strongest market that we’ve had since I started doing business in Ohio 35 years ago. From a human point of view, it’s terrible for the city, but I do believe we will be successful in remarketing that space to a number of smaller companies.”

Lichter says he’ll go first back to some of the prospective tenants he’s had to turn away. Much will depend on when, exactly, Lockheed plans to move out.

He says Akron has four aspects that will help him  market the property: infrastructure, location, pricing and labor force.

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