Nim Frazer plays multiple roles in the company his father started, Industrial Partners, LLC. He’s part owner, General Manager, leasing agent, a Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) real estate agent and often onsite when the company is building industrial buildings, where he’s as comfortable in his hard hat as any of the others he wears.
When was Industrial Partners founded? 1974. I started with the company in 1985.
What are the primary services of IP? We help a wide range of clients get the industrial building that fits their needs. We do this by functioning as commercial industrial real estate agents. We offer site analysis. We design and build to suit industrial buildings and manage construction on expansions of existing buildings.
What got you interested in industrial building and real estate? During high school in the summers, I worked for a construction company on its crew and was so fascinated watching the progress we made each day on site. It’s great to work hard and then see tangible results of that labor.
What challenges has IP recently faced? Construction costs have gone up so much over the last three years, rising 8-10 percent a year. To help with this, I invested in a start-up construction company, Partners Construction LLC being founded by a contractor we’ve known and worked with for years. Industrial Partners has no direct ownership, but I do as an investor. This allows IP to get the best price for the best quality construction. It’s allowing us to develop industrial properties on a spec basis in Montgomery at a time when no one else is. And since all our existing inventory was already leased, and we needed to keep growing, we had to build more, and we had to get creative to do that.
What part has IP played in the development of the Montgomery Industrial Park? It was a former pecan orchard that Montgomery County owned. About 15 years ago, we had the opportunity to buy some of the land, so we did. Montgomery needed an upscale industrial park. We built the first building out here, so we were the catalyst. Then we committed to build the next building as soon as that one was leased or sold, and we continued that method for 14 years. We recently bought the remaining three lots we had under option, and we have a 118,000 square-foot building expansion underway now on one of those. We already have a new company coming into part of this expansion, and we have an additional 67,000 square feet of space available. It’s all class A industrial space, as is everything out here. MIP has restrictions, and all buildings must be either pre-cast masonry and block or tilt-up construction.
What is the most rewarding part of your work? Sometimes, I can’t believe I get paid to have this much fun. I feel so fortunate to be in a business I like and that has an impact on the community. IP is creating jobs and making it possible for new businesses to locate here and for existing businesses to grow and expand. It’s also interesting to learn about all the different businesses we serve. When we build a space for them, we have to learn about what they do and how they do it, so it’s just fun to keep learning new things. And we could not do what we do without the support of the Chamber. You don’t get any better than their folks like Ellen McNair who have the experience, expertise and creativity to bring businesses here.
Why do you choose to be so supportive of the Chamber and its work? Growing up, I saw firsthand how important it was for local businesses to support the Chamber. My dad was Chamber Chairman in 2000, and I was Chairman in 2010. I think we are the only father-son chairs. It was just instilled in me early on how important the Chamber’s work and role in our community is.
What are your interests outside of work? I serve on a few boards I’m passionate about, including Magic Moments. I love what they do for Alabama kids with cancer. I’ve also served many years on the Metro Board with the YMCA. I have a wonderful family. I like to read a lot. And I’m building a beach house right now and looking forward to enjoying that.
In a few years, Industrial Partners will celebrate its 50th anniversary, and currently the company has 19 industrial buildings in its portfolio representing in excess of 1.6 million square feet of space.
Just Like it Sounds
Wonder what “tilt-up” construction is? After land is prepped, a concrete slab foundation is poured. Once it cures, concrete walls are framed and poured onsite. Once they’re cured, they’re tilted up with a crane and braced to keep them standing while waiting for the steel roof. Once the roof is on, the braces come off. “For speed, durability, cost and energy efficiency, tilt-up is best,” says Nim Frazer.