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Windstream to sell former Maytag campus

Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 12:10 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 12:14 p.m. CST

Windstream announced Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the former Maytag campus to Newton Enterprises LLC.

Newton Enterprises LLC is one of several businesses owned by Reza Kargarzadeh. His holdings include 14 manufacturing facilities in North America and commercial real estate, plus a real estate development company.

“We are pleased to enter into this agreement and see the former Maytag campus remain a viable contributor to the Newton economy,” said Charlie Bruggemann, division vice president in charge of Windstream operations in Iowa.

According to a news release from Windstream Staff Manager of Corporate Communications Scott Morris, the two companies are expected to close the deal by April 16. Newton Enterprises LLC worked closely with Windstream management on the acquisition of all the former Maytag downtown properties as well as the former Iowa Telecom building in Grinnell.

Newton Mayor Chaz Allen said after Monday night’s city council meeting that he’s confident the new buyer will be hawkish in trying to find new tenant(s) for the building.

“We’re excited to work with somebody that’s aggressively pursuing economic development and wants to bring jobs to our community,” Allen said. “As a person who worked for Iowa Telecom to try and sell the building, it’s hard. When your primary goal is to sell communication, it’s hard to sell real estate. This is a person that wants to bring economic development and do good things in Newton.”

Kargarzadeh said his team will be working diligently to attract new businesses to Newton and Grinnell, and he currently is working with potential clients. City of Newton Community Development Director Bryan Friedman indicated Monday night that Karagarzadeh is looking for several business — as opposed to a large company — to fill the Fortune 500 company space.

“Given its size, with 400,000 square feet of great office space, they would envision several different businesses being part of that complex,” Friedman said.

He explained that partitioning the former Maytag headquarters will be possible without significant retrofit of building utility management, noting that utility payments would be drafted as part of a lease agreement with prospective tenants. The property is not zoned for industrial use, so Friedman said any business that rents the space likely would be administrative.

The building is located in a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, and Friedman said that Newton Enterprises currently is working to get incentives for prospective businesses, but those negotiations are still pending.

Windstream acquired the former Maytag campus when it purchased Iowa Telecom in 2010.

Mike Mendenhall contributed to this report. He can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 422 or via email at mmendenhall@newtondailynews.com.

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