EVANSTON — A vacant historical building familiar to longtime Evanston residents will once again open its doors to welcome the public into a local thriving business. The old Schofield’s building has recently been sold to a local business.
Local realtor Lise Freeman with Bear River Realty and John Bushnell with Colliers International successfully negotiated the sale of the building to BACE Partners of Evanston, owned by Brad Bateman and Cody Bateman. Freeman said the Schofield family was pleased with the contract.
Bushnell has 36 years in commercial real estate and is the principal broker for Colliers International for the entire state of Wyoming.
“We (Colliers) dominate the commercial market in Evanston,” Bushnell said. “We pay for global advertising and specialize in commercial real estate. We have the brokerage expertise and knowledge to handle the transactions like the Schofield sale.”
Big manufacturing companies, Bushnell said, go directly to city entities looking for concessions and grants, and then compete for locations. He said Colliers handles the smaller businesses and more “realistic buyers” who just need a building. They find the properties through the extensive global marketing that Colliers provides and contact their agents.
Freeman said one of the other buildings they are currently marketing is the Subway facility near Walmart and they anticipate a national company will purchase or lease it. Colliers currently has an offer on it. Bushnell said the space is highly marketable even though the building itself is only 1,300 square feet, it includes one acre of land and ample parking. They are also currently marketing the Subway building in Mountain View as an investment.
Freeman and Bushnell have been very successful in selling and leasing commercial real estate in Evanston. Approximately three years ago, they sold commercial buildings to Dominion Energy, Ideal Trucking and Old Hickory Sheds, and leased an industrial building on Highway 89. In addition, they successfully completed transactions for Pine Gables, the old Jolly Jacks building at 101 Front St. and a smaller industrial building on Jamison. They currently have four industrial buildings available: two on Meadow Drive, the former GE building on Pasture Drive and another on Reay Street, just off Highway 150.
“Eight months ago,” Freeman said, “We sold the top floor of the Wells Fargo building. We leased the Tumbleweeds facility, which is now available as an investment. We sold the former Kegger’s to Border Beverages and, currently, have a car wash/laundromat/retail center and the former JB’s Restaurant building listed.”
Both Freeman and Bushnell said one hurdle is that the risk of investment and rate of return is higher in Evanston — especially with food establishments. A business needs to see at least a 12 to 15% annual return, they said.
“However, the fact that small businesses can purchase industrial space in Evanston for $60 per square foot makes the market here very enticing,” Bushnells said, “because it is triple that price in Utah. Also, there is usually more acreage with a building here. We are also seeing small manufacturers getting priced out of space in Park City, and they are looking to relocate.”