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Former Wyeth plant sold again

David Larter May 16, 2012 7

For the second time in less than a year, the former Wyeth plant adjacent to Interstate 95 has a new owner.

The Rebkee Company sold the building Tuesday for $1.9 million to Michael and Son, a heating and air conditioning company based in Alexandria with an office in Midlothian.

Rebkee bought the building in September for $1.65 million from American Home Products Corp. after Pfizer bought out that company.

Kevin McFadden, principal at Rebkee, said in an email that American Home Products purchased the property for a specific tenant, whom he did not identify, but that the deal fell through.

“We then listed the property for sale or lease and Michael and Son made us an offer which we accepted,” McFadden wrote. “It means nothing but business as usual for Rebkee.”

Jim Ashby with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented Michael and Son. Mac Wilson and Franklin Bell, also of Thalhimer, represented Rebkee.

The 273,000-square-foot building, sitting on nine acres and highly visible from I-95, was formerly used to manufacture Robitussin, ChapStick and other pharmaceuticals.

Ashby said Michael and Son will occupy about 25 to 30 percent of the building and will look to lease the rest of the office space. The 21,000-square-foot Wyeth tower, Ashby said, might be developed into apartments.

Basim Mansour, president of Michael and Son, said he wanted a space with highway visibility.

“It’s always a big deal to me. I love having a visible location,” Mansour said. “I’m a big marketing guy, and any time you can get that many eyeballs for free that’s a huge advantage.”

Mansour said that he was going to put up a billboard on the property but that the Wyeth sign would stay on the building for the time being.

“I like having a piece of history,” he said. “Right now it’s not my plan to take the sign off. Maybe it’s OCD or a fetish or whatever but I like having it up there. You can’t erase the history. Right now people know it as the Wyeth building. Maybe some day they’ll know it as the Michael and Son building, but it’s Wyeth right now.”

Mansour said he was considering opening a second call center in the plant, which could bring 50 jobs to the neighborhood.

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7 Comments »

  1. Brett May 16, 2012 at 6:45 am - Reply

    I don’t think the sign has been up there that long. They bought it from A.H. Robins in the late 80’s. I don’t think you’ll get that much push back if you take it down. Now if it still said Robins, then you might have something.

  2. Drew May 16, 2012 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Is there really that much demand for apartments that people will share an office building with an HVAC company near the Diamond and the Highway?

  3. Bruce Anderson May 16, 2012 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Some think that a herd mentality is driving multi-family development and that we are beginning to inflate yet another bubble. Others feel that the recent financial crisis will have a generational impact on the way Americans view housing and that home ownership will revert to 1950’s levels and rentals will represent a much larger share of the permanent housing market… Only time will tell.

  4. Jim May 16, 2012 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Drew,
    The 21,000 SF office tower is separate from the larger facility. They would not be sharing space with the HVAC company and yes, demand for apartments is high.

  5. basim May 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    i honestly believe its a great property and the tower offers amazing views of downton richmond as well as the diamond, but the market will allways dictate the need so when the time comes we will see what richmond wants and needs.

  6. Chris May 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Does this mean that Richmond will get the ever classy “Your wife is hot” electronic billboard that you can see from 395 in Alexandria?

    • basim May 17, 2012 at 9:02 am - Reply

      only if you wish

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