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New $23 million Tenneco building vacant, up for sublease after company abandons move

Powertrain part maker Tenneco Inc. is abandoning its plans to move to Northville Township.

Its new $23 million building at 15701 Technology Drive near Five Mile and Beck roads sits vacant and is now up for sublease, according to a marketing brochure from the Southfield office of brokerage house Cushman & Wakefield.

Steve Blow, executive director for global corporate communications for Tenneco, said the decision to abandon the move — which was a consolidation of employees in Southfield, Plymouth Township and Grass Lake — “made prudent business sense.”

“Given the challenging and changing market conditions earlier this year in the February time frame, we evaluated the state of the business and that it was the right business move to keep the people in the buildings they are in,” he said.

Tenneco, based in Lake Forest, Ill., received a $750,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, which is overseen by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., with the understanding that 100 jobs would be created over three to five years.

The MEDC said in a statement that Tenneco requested that the grant agreement be terminated and “no disbursements were made.”

Tenneco paid $5.4 billion for Southfield-based Federal-Mogul in October 2018 and had been in the process of splitting into two separate publicly traded companies until January, when it put those plans on hold, Crain’s reported at the time. Tenneco maintains operations in Plymouth Township, Southfield and Grass Lake.

About 200 Tenneco employees were to move from its Southfield office to Northville during the first quarter, along with roughly 50 each from Plymouth and Grass Lake. The company is currently in the West Eleven Office Park in a building owned by Farmington Hills-based Friedman Real Estate.

The Cushman & Wakefield marketing brochure says that the 100,000-square-foot building in the Northville Technology Park is fully furnished.  The asking rate is $19 per square foot per year, minus the costs of electricity and other utilities.  Brian Piergentili, executive director in the Southfield office of Cushman & Wakefield, declined comment.

The building was developed by Birmingham-based Amson Nassar Development LLC. It is owned by St. Louis, Mo.-based ElmTree Funds.

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