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VOL. 123 | NO. 26 | Thursday, February 07, 2008

Boyle Scoops up Prime DeSoto Land in I-269 Corridor

By Eric Smith

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Boyle Investment Co. outbid the competition for 150 acres of commercial real estate in DeSoto County at an auction in November. And after delays related to surveying the property, the deal finally closed Feb. 1, said project manager Bill Caller of Roebuck Auctions.

This is the first time Caller was able to speak publicly about the deal.

Caller said the final purchase price was about $3.9 million, while Cary Whitehead III, senior vice president for Boyle, declined to confirm or comment on the amount his company spent for the property.

The auctioned land includes three of four retail corners of the proposed interchange of Craft Road and the future Interstate 269 in unincorporated DeSoto County.

Boyle, a longtime Memphis development and real estate company, was one of three bidders for the DeSoto property, which is along the frontage area of what will become Interstate 269 - a future beltway set to circle the Memphis metropolitan area concentric to the Interstate 240 loop.

"Boyle was obviously the most aggressive bidder," Caller said. "They thought the time was right to go ahead and take down those three retail parcels for future development."


Ripe for the plucking

I-269 will bisect DeSoto County - the fastest-growing community in the Mid-South and one of the fastest in the nation - as well as the eastern and northern suburbs of Shelby County, linking with I-69/I-55 in North Mississippi and also I-69 in Millington.

This raw land is in the middle of what should become a booming transportation corridor thanks to zoning for commercial and retail development alongside residential areas. That mixture is exactly what Boyle executives had in mind when bidding at the auction.

"The things we like about it are I-269 going through it, three brand new schools that have been constructed next door, all utilities extended to it and it's just in a growth corridor in DeSoto County," Whitehead said.

Boyle doesn't have specific plans for the property because development can't begin there until construction on the interstate begins. It is expected to happen in 2009, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Regardless of the extended timeframe, this was an investment Boyle wanted to make as it keeps an eye on the future.

"We feel very good about the location for the long term since it won't be ready for a number of years," Whitehead said. "It's clearly a long-term location, and we have no plans to do anything with it but just wait until the time is appropriate."

Sitting on a goldmine?

Boyle's 150-acre purchase was part of a larger, 236-acre auction that Roebuck held. The entire property is wrapped into the Village of Hawk's Crossing, a 500-acre planned-unit development (PUD) near Craft and Byhalia roads.

Much of this mixed-use PUD is zoned for residential use, which also will play a role in what Boyle ultimately decides to do with the land, Whitehead said. In other words, future development hinges on how many people are living in or traveling through the forthcoming corridor.

Whitehead said he expects plenty of migration toward that part of the county, but obviously the housing market and residential trends, as well as highway progress, will all factor into what kind of developments eventually go in.

The entire 236-acre property was sold by an undisclosed Alabama investor, Caller said, adding that a fourth commercial parcel totaling roughly 80 acres did not sell at the auction. About half of that is zoned for church or retirement, while the remaining acreage will become a right-of-way for the interstate.

Caller said his company is working with sellers to secure a buyer for that last piece of the property. If a bidder isn't found in the next month or two, it will go back up for auction.

To read The Daily News' original article about this DeSoto County commercial property auction, see the Oct. 30 Real Estate and Development Focus story at www.memphisdailynews.com.



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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 87 87 14,804
MORTGAGES 80 80 19,410
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 22 22 3,817
BUILDING PERMITS 142 142 35,472
BANKRUPTCIES 62 62 14,096
BUSINESS LICENSES 62 62 5,053
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 99 99 21,532
MARRIAGE LICENSES 37 37 4,594

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