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Automotive supplier reshores manufacturing with new North American build-to-suit headquarters

Founded in 1998, Zhongli North America, Inc. (NA), is a rapidly growing global automotive supplier with headquarters in Shanghai, China. Zhongli NA designs and manufactures vehicle parts and components serving North American OEMs and automotive suppliers.

With the objective of centralizing its operations and reshoring certain manufacturing processes to Michigan, Zhongli NA engaged Plante Moran Realpoint (PMR) in 2021 to uncover every feasible option for a new headquarters space. PMR services included consulting, transaction management, and owner’s representation to oversee the build-out.

PMR’s site search was challenging due to a limited number of buildings matching Zhongli’s capacity needs. Industrial leasing activity was up 60% with little construction to meet demand. PMR narrowed down our wide search to three Michigan locations within a reasonable radius of Zhongli’s main operations on 14 Mile Road in Troy. PMR leveraged our market knowledge to execute a built-to-suit lease of 166,000 square feet in Shelby Township with incentive negotiations yielding over $1 million in tax abatements.

As project manager for the built-to-suit construction, PMR gave Zhongli an experienced resource to oversee the project, install clear communication among the project team, overcome construction market challenges, and resolve supply chain issues. The project faced several setbacks, including a change in contractors and sub-contractors, but PMR worked through each issue and oversaw developer adherence to original contract terms. Adding additional value to our services, PMR negotiated a turnkey tenant improvement cost package with the developer. In doing so, Zhongli was protected against the fluctuating costs of materials and supplies, which could have led to Zhongli assuming additional costs for the project.

In the face of construction market challenges, our real estate and construction experts provided the exact range of services needed for Zhongli’s major relocation, from site selection and incentive negotiation to construction oversight. Zhongli NA headquarters now serves as a business differentiator and tool for talent attraction and retention.

Whether you are looking to lease, buy, or build, our multidisciplinary team has the expertise to guide your real estate strategy to benefit to your organization. Contact our team today to see how we can help.

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