Services Provided:

Brokerage, Construction, Project Management

Industries:

Hospitality, Industrial, Office

Location

St. Louis Park, MN

Size

36,000 SF

Brokers:

Eric Batiza, Bryan Beltrand

Project Summary

At The Fish Guys, approximately 8 million pounds of fresh seafood is custom-cut, processed, and delivered each year to restaurants and retailers. Tremendous business growth led them to seek out a larger facility. The Fish Guys sought out Welsh & Colliers | Minneapolis-St. Paul to help them find and renovate a new space, as well as manage the project and move process.

Challenge

As a unique food distributor unlike anything in the Midwest, The Fish Guys had very specific requirements for their space. A large, open space was needed, and they wanted the space to appeal to their high-end restaurant and retail clients. Not only did they have specific building requirements, but they needed a location close to their customers in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Finding a building to meet all of these needs was very difficult, but the Colliers team kept looking until they found the right space for The Fish Guys.

Strategy

After looking at over 40 buildings, the brokerage team was able to find and secure a location that would support The Fish Guys’ business model and growth. At first, the space that the brokerage team found for The Fish Guys was a bit of a “tough sell” – it needed a lot of work to become a space that would be usable for The Fish Guys. When they first toured the space, the brokers worked hard to show the potential of the building. The construction team came in early on to assess the space and determine whether the necessary modifications could be made. Once they determined the space could work, the brokerage team worked with the landlords to facilitate a quick build-out and occupancy for The Fish Guys, ensuring they would be up and running without any downtime.

Formerly home to a Nestle facility, significant changes had to be made to adapt the space for The Fish Guys. A physical plant inhabited the original space, with multiple mezzanines, a broken up floor plan, process piping, boilers, and raised equipment pads. These all needed to be removed to restore the bare bones and volume of the structure. As an added challenge, the 31’ clear height of the building meant all trades of construction needed to work off of elevated lifts.

Nearly 40,000 SF of insulated wall and ceiling panels were installed to create an 8,000 SF freezer with 26’ clear height, 1,600 SF cooler with 24’ clear height, and 5,600 SF of processing and staging rooms – all set to different temperatures for different types of seafood. The finished space also has a commercial-grade demonstration kitchen, which is used to host everything from product testings, to client events, to meals for employees.

Throughout the process, the project management team kept a close watch over the many moving pieces involved in building a seafood distribution facility, including the move from the old space to the new space. The around-the-clock nature of The Fish Guys’ business required a quick and seamless move process. Welsh secured temporary occupancy certificates so that the seafood could all be moved in over a period of just 24 hours.

Results

  • Trucks can be loaded faster and out on the streets up to an hour and a half earlier than before
  • Having more space allows them to process fish faster and with greater care
  • Plenty of room for future expansion
  • Company culture and camaraderie have both gotten a boost from the new space

 

Photography and architectural services by Tanek