Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is pleased to announce the sale of the Mary Barden Keegan Center located at 2445 North Freeway for the Houston Food Bank. The high-visibility building is known for its distinctive “End Hunger” graphic. NGKF’s Senior Managing Director Rob Stillwell represented the seller, Houston Food Bank, in the sale to Virgata Property Company, a Houston-based commercial real estate developer and investor.
Houston Food Bank is America’s largest food bank in distribution to its network of 600 hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. Named top charity in Texas by Charity Navigator for financial performance and accountability, the Houston Food Bank provides 79 million nutritious meals to food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and other agencies, feeding 800,000 people each year. The 13,000-square-foot building, which includes about 3,000 square feet for cooking and packing of meals, in addition to freezer and storage space, is a well-known landmark in the city.
“Houston Food Bank required a larger kitchen to provide more meals to the community,” said Stillwell. “The new Keegan Kitchen located at 535 Portwall Street, which is currently under construction, will provide the ability for the food bank to cook four times the amount of meals per day.” The new Keegan Kitchen will accommodate up to 80 volunteers at a time. The kitchen is used to produce meals distributed to 70 afterschool and summer program sites for the Kids Cafe.
“Houston Food Bank presented an attractive investment opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” said Founding Partner Jim Peterson of Virgata Property Company. “In support of the Houston Food Bank’s mission, we have offered to allow them to remain in the space rent free for the following four months as its new location is being built out.”
“The Houston Food Bank is grateful to Rob Stillwell, NGKF and Virgata,” said Houston Food Bank President Brian Greene. “Thanks to their generosity, we will be able to provide nutritious, cooked meals to many more hungry children throughout our service area.”
The food bank moved to the Portwall facility, off Interstate 10 East just inside east Loop 610, in 2011 after buying and renovating the former Sysco Distribution Center. The property consists of a 272,711-square-foot warehouse, a 153,341-square-foot freezer building and a 15,870-square-foot truck center. The new Keegan Kitchen at Portwall will have enough freezer and cooler space to store three days’ worth of food. The design includes a demonstration kitchen for nutrition education classes and culinary arts training.
About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 14,100 professionals operate from more than 400 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.
With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
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