May 29, 2014 | Issue 235
Southeast Real Estate Business
Top Story

CBRE Arranges $86.8M Acquisition Loan for Coral Gables Office Complex
The 467,325-square-foot Douglas Entrance in Coral Gables is 81 percent leased to a mix of 43 tenants (Photo courtesy of CBRE).


CORAL GABLES, FLA. -- CBRE has secured an $86.8 million bridge loan for the acquisition of Douglas Entrance, a five-building office complex at 800, 804 and 806 S. Douglas Road in Coral Gables. Blackstone of New York originated the three-year, interest-only loan on behalf of the borrower, a partnership between Banyan Street Capital and Oaktree Capital Management LP. The 467,325-square-foot complex is 81 percent leased to a mix of 43 tenants, including Univision, MetLife, MasTec & AECOM, Travelers, Lexmark and Movado. Charles Foschini, Christian Lee and Christopher Apone of CBRE arranged the loan.


Phase II of NC State University's
Talley Student Union Underway

Phase II of the Talley Student Union, set for an early 2015 completion, will include a bookstore and renovations to Stewart Theater.


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Phase II of North Carolina State's (NC State) Talley Student Union in Raleigh is underway. The development includes a 117,000-square-foot renovation and a new 171,000-square-foot addition. Phase II, set for an early 2015 completion, will include a four-story atrium carved from the existing structure, bookstore, additional offices, renovations to the 800-seat Stewart Theater, a video wall facing exterior gathering space at Stafford Commons, meeting rooms and lounge areas. The project team, including Cooper Carry and Duda|Paine Architects, is designing the student union to achieve LEED Silver certification. NC State students also took part in the design process.

Beacon Breaks Ground on 415,541 SF Speculative Warehouse Complex
The site for InnerLoop North is situated 1.5 miles from I-77, two miles from I-485 and less than five miles from I-85.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Beacon Partners, a Charlotte-based developer, has broken ground on InnerLoop North, two warehouse buildings totaling 415,541 square feet. The speculative industrial buildings will be located on David Cox Road near the intersection of Harris Boulevard and Old Statesville Road in north Charlotte. The site for InnerLoop North is situated 1.5 miles from I-77, two miles from I-485 and less than five miles from I-85. The property features 30- and 32-foot clear heights, on-site trailer parking and an ESFR sprinkler system. The project team includes architect Merriman Schmitt, general contractor InterCon Building Corp. and lender Regions Bank. Beacon Partners expects to deliver InnerLoop North in the fourth quarter.

Eller Capital Invests $65M in Three Chapel Hill Apartment Properties

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Eller Capital Partners, along with its affiliate PEG Capital Management, plans to invest more than $65 million to buy and rehabilitate three apartment communities in Chapel Hill. As part of the acquisition, the three assets have been rebranded as The Apartments at Midtown 501, 86 North Apartments and Timber Hollow Apartments. Eller Capital will rehabilitate the three communities with updated amenity offerings, modern interior finishes and energy-efficient systems. 


Eller Capital has proposed to expand Timber Hollow, which, if successful, will be the first time a developer has offered on-site affordable housing units at a rental project in the history of Chapel Hill. Eller Residential Living, an affiliate of Eller Capital Partners, will serve as the on-site manager of the properties.

Ferncroft Capital Acquires Morrison
in Charlotte's SouthPark for $44.9M

Morrison in Charlotte's SouthPark district is fully leased to tenants such as Earth Fare, Barnes & Noble, Capitol, TrySports and Firebirds. The asset is part of the larger Morrison mixed-use community.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-based Ferncroft Capital has acquired Morrison, a 131,000-square-foot, Class A retail property in Charlotte's SouthPark neighborhood, for $44.9 million. Morrison, located at the intersection of Sharon and Colony roads, is fully leased to tenants such as Earth Fare, Barnes & Noble, Capitol, TrySports and Firebirds. The asset is part of the larger Morrison mixed-use community that features 314 luxury apartments and 119 condominiums. Berkeley Capital Advisors represented the seller in the transaction, and Bryan Brooks of Medalist Capital arranged acquisition financing. Ferncroft will retain Madison Marquette as the property manager.

The Connor Group Purchases
The Arboretum in Charlotte for $32.3M

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Connor Group has purchased The Arboretum, a 277-unit, Class A apartment community in south Charlotte. The Connor Group purchased the asset from Simpson Financial LP for $32.3 million. The apartment community features a resort-style swimming pool, indoor lap pool, business center, fitness center, billiards and media room and lighted tennis courts. The Arboretum is The Connor Group's third acquisition in the Charlotte market in the past seven months.

Homewood Suites By Hilton Opens
Four-Story Hotel in Charlotte

Homewood Suites by Hilton Charlotte Ballantyne Area is located at 12030 Copper Way in Charlotte's Ballantyne neighborhood.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Homewood Suites by Hilton has opened a four-story, 117-suite hotel at 12030 Copper Way in Charlotte's Ballantyne neighborhood. The hotel, known as Homewood Suites by Hilton Charlotte Ballantyne Area, will be situated near the Ballantyne Corporate Park, Toringdon Circle and Ballantyne Village. Tara of Ballantyne LLC owns the hotel and has tapped Tara Hospitality Group to manage the property.

Wheeler REIT to Acquire Kentucky Shopping Center for $5M
Kroger anchors Harrodsburg Marketplace, which is located about 30 miles southwest of Lexington.


HARRODSBURG, KY. -- Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. (Wheeler REIT) has assumed a contract to acquire Harrodsburg Marketplace, a 60,048-square-foot shopping center in Harrodsburg, for $5 million. Kroger anchors the shopping center, which is located about 30 miles southwest of Lexington. The REIT will use a combination of cash and debt to pay for the property and will assume the contract from an affiliate, Wheeler Interests LLC.

Morris: Carolinas Ready for Speculative Industrial Development in Top Markets
Jon Morris

The demand for industrial space is ramping up in the Carolinas, so much so that some speculative projects are cropping up in some of the area's top industrial markets, according to Jon Morris, partner at Beacon Partners, an industrial developer based in Charlotte. In fact, Morris' company recently broke ground on InnerLoop North, two warehouse buildings totaling 415,541 square feet in North Charlotte. You can read more about the project in the news section above.


Morris will be a featured panelist for the information session entitled, "Industrial Market Update: What's the Outlook for Leasing, Investment & Development in North & South Carolina Industrial Property?" at the 2014 InterFace Carolinas information and networking conference, which takes place Wednesday, June 11 at the Hilton Charlotte Center City. Southeast Real Estate Business recently chatted with Morris about the industrial activity in the Carolinas. 


SREB: What takeaways do you hope participants will come away with during your Industrial Market Update panel at the InterFace show? 


Morris: I hope they come away with optimism because industrial fundamentals are solid across the Carolinas and the country. Local, regional and national occupancies are generally at or above levels experienced during the last cycle.  Developers have been slower to bring new supply to the market, allowing fundamentals to strengthen.


Another thing I hope is relayed at the panel is that there is pent-up demand in the market. After more than 60 months of limited supply in the Charlotte region, surging demand has allowed landlords to achieve rental rates that justify speculative development.


Much of the new supply is directed to tenants that are 250,000-square-foot and larger. Although the buildings housing Charlotte's bread-and-butter-sized tenants of 20,000 to 50,000 square feet are filling up, rental rates do not yet pencil out for those buildings. That could create an unprecedented supply/demand dynamic for that market segment in the coming quarters.


Additionally, user demand is broad-based right now in the Carolinas. E-commerce and food service are driving much of the need in larger facilities, but demand rounds out in the smaller tenant spaces (under 100,000 square feet). A variety of users from industries ranging from consumer products, building supply, energy, heavy industrials and construction are taking regional distribution centers and sales/service space again.


SREB: How would you assess the strength of development of industrial facilities in the Carolinas? Is there any spec development or is it all build-to-suit projects that are breaking ground? What are some of the "hot" markets/submarkets for development?


Morris: Certain market segments are ready for new speculative development. Build-to-suit development has been and remains active, as indicated by the completions for Freightliner, Britax and Energizer, as well as the recent McKesson announcement. Numerous other build-to-suit deals are in the pipeline as well.


As to "hot" markets/submarkets, the I-85 Corridor in Cabarrus County has seen the majority of the announcements in the Charlotte region, with three recent projects breaking ground. That trend could spread out into several other Charlotte submarkets by the end of 2014. Speculative activity has been slower in the other major Carolinas markets, with the exception of Greenville, where the automotive industry has driven Liberty and Pattillo to bring new buildings to market.


SREB: The Port of Charleston's container volume for March was up 11 percent over March 2013 and is reported to be the busiest it has been in six years. Can you describe the direct impact the port is having on the industrial market in the Carolinas?


Morris: It's similar to the AT&T "More is Better" commercial with the guy in a suit talking to the young kids. The more containers coming through the Charleston port, and the more containers processed in the Greer, S.C. inland port, and the more rail traffic through Norfolk Southern's Charlotte intermodal facility each feed on the other and correlate to more goods entering the market to satisfy the demands of a growing population in the Carolinas and the Southeast. The challenge is determining what exactly "more" means in terms of square footage of new warehouse.  Clearly, with eight consecutive quarters of positive net absorption -- and 13 of the last 15, per Andrew Jenkins at KARNES Research -- totaling 2.3 million square feet in the Charlotte region, more equaled better in 2013. A good year in Charlotte is considered more than 1 million square feet.


RECon Recap: The Top Five Ways Shopping Centers are Changing
The Westfield Group has embraced pop-up shops, which not only add a refreshingly new mix of merchandise to a center, but also temporarily absorb vacancies. Westfield San Francisco Centre introduced three digital pop-up shops this past November, including Sony, TOMS and Rebecca Minkoff. Pop-up shops are one of the key ways shopping centers are changing their approach to reaching the customer.

LAS VEGAS -- Competition among retailers may be fiercer today than ever before when it comes attracting a consumer's dollars. Although the recession might be solidly behind us, the average shopper has access to a plethora of online and brick-and-mortar retailers, as RECon panelists and attendees pointed out during this year's show, which took place May 18 to May 20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

Many popular retailers are once again in growth mode. Shopping center owners are vying for their attention -- and for good reason. More outposts means the consumer has more conveniently located shopping centers with comparable tenants from which to choose. It may also mean your center is out of luck if you fail to recruit the top talent in retail. 

The top talent in retail, meanwhile, is looking to wine and dine its prospective shoppers -- both figuratively and literally. This strategy often begins before a tenant has even committed to a space, leaving the responsibility for a fun, friendly and entertaining atmosphere to fall directly on the shoulders of the center's operator. 

Below are five key strategies outlined by RECon panelists and attendees that detail how a center can remain competitive for both key tenants and shoppers. These strategies also highlight just how many changes the average American shopping center is likely to face as leases expire, new concepts roll out and the fickle consumer becomes no less predictable. 

1. Technology is Here to Stay - While most retailers have made major strides when it comes to streamlining the online browsing and buying portions of their companies, shopping centers have fallen behind. Many luxury lifestyle centers and shopping malls are embracing social media, but that investment should be apparent not only online, but also at the actual property as well, according to panelists. 

"The Internet is now a part of our business," said Edward Coury, vice president and director of leasing for Starwood Retail Partners in Chicago, and a participant in the "Acquiring and Then Revitalizing a Challenged Center" panel.

-- Nellie Day

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CREW Atlanta Awards Presentation
When: June 5, 2014
Where: The Ballroom at the Carlos Center
2500 Clairmont Road
Atlanta, GA 30329
InterFace Carolinas 2014
When: June 11, 2014
Where: Hilton Charlotte City Center
222 E. 3rd St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
InterFace Carolinas Healthcare Real Estate 2014
When: June 11, 2014
Where: Hilton Charlotte City Center
222 E. 3rd St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
BOMA: 2014 Every Building Conference & Expo
When: June 22-24, 2014
Where: Gaylord Palms Convention Center
6000 W. Osceola Parkway
Kissimmee, FL 34746

Have an event that you would to share with our readers? Send an email with the details to Southeast Real Estate Business editor John Nelson at
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