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Gateway buildings

Gerard Keating, CEO of Keating Resources, which has offices in Atkinson, Nebraska and Naples, Florida, has agreed to purchase the former Gateway campus in North Sioux City, above, for $5.75 million. 

NORTH SIOUX CITY | A Florida-based investor with ties to Siouxland paid $5.75 million for the former Gateway campus in North Sioux City.

Gerald Keating, who announced last month he had struck a deal to buy the iconic black-and-white spotted buildings from Taiwan-based Acer Inc., finalized the sale Wednesday. Upon the closing, Keating said he sold the 225,000-square-foot Argentina building to an unidentified local investor. The building covers 11 acres on the south end of the campus.

In a news release, Keating said he also has a pending long-term lease for 101,000-square-feet of former tech space to an unidentified tenant. That would raise to 61 percent the occupancy in the remaining 521,000 square feet of space.

Covering a total of 750,000 square feet, the interconnected structures are considered the largest building in South Dakota, Keating declared in the release.

The price he paid for the property, which includes 77 acres, is just a fraction of its original value. Built in phases from 1989 to 1997, the machine shed-like buildings cost an estimated $70 million.

Gateway, founded by Ted Waitt and the late Mike Hammond on the Waitt family cattle farm in Sioux City in 1985, moved across the Big Sioux River to North Sioux City in 1990. The quirky startup, which grew into one of the world's largest makers of personal computers, employed nearly 6,000 in North Sioux City at its peak in the late 1990s. After falling on hard times, the publicly-traded company was sold to Acer in 2007.

Keating said the North Sioux City buildings, which once housed Gateway's headquarters, sales offices and production facilities, will be repainted this summer with the iconic spots of a Holstein cow. The campus will be branded Gateway Business Center, located within the Gateway Business Park, developed by Berkshire Hathaway-owned MidAmerican Energy.

Keating said he will leave Ted Waitt’s executive office vacant with the hope Waitt or one of his companies "may return to perform magic one more time."

A total of 200,000 square feet is available for lease, in increments of 20,000 square feet, he said. The new owners also could construct an additional 500,000 square feet on 28 adjacent acres.

Keating is CEO of Keating Resources, which has offices in Naples, Florida, and Atkinson, Nebraska, where Keating grew up and maintains family ties. Keating Resources invests in commercial and industrial properties throughout the United State.

In a release, Keating said his decision to purchase the former Gateway property “was made easier based on the outstanding work ethic of residents of the Sioux City metro, along with the entrepreneurial pro-growth tax policies of South Dakota.”

Keating has scheduled a news conference at noon Thursday to further discuss the former Gateway campus.

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