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VOL. 127 | NO. 53 | Friday, March 16, 2012

Sarah Baker

SEND COMMERCIAL LEASE ANNOUNCEMENTS to Sarah Baker, who can be reached at 521-2464 or sbaker@memphisdailynews.com.

Former Cleo Site Sells For $2.6M

By Sarah Baker

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A Memphis-based buyer has bought more than 1 million square feet formerly occupied by Cleo Inc. gift-wrapping company in Airport Industrial Park Section A for less than two-thirds of the listing price.

Varma Family LP acquired 4025 Viscount Ave. and 4063 Viscount Ave. from Corporate Property Associates 4 for $2.6 million, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. The purchase was financed through a $2.1 million loan through Bank of America NA.

The 39.5-acre warehouse/distribution site consists of connected properties at 4025 and 4063 Viscount – 614,274 square feet and 391,896 square feet, respectively – served by BNSF Railway Co. in Southeast Memphis. Gift-wrapping manufacturer Cleo Inc. formerly occupied the property in its entirety and was headquartered at 4025 Viscount until the company closed last fall.

The seller is an entity of W.P. Carey & Co. LLC out of New York, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds. The buyer lists a Memphis address, in the attention of Himanshu Varma.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 appraisal for the site, which was built in 1964 and is listed by the assessor under the 4025 Viscount address, was $10.4 million. The listing price, according to LoopNet, was $6 million.

Jimmy Lewis with Rasberry Commercial Real Estate was the buyer’s representative. Dave Curran with Commercial Advisors LLC represented the seller of the property.

“I think the price was certainly a factor,” Lewis said. “Moreover, they were motivated because their business is expanding and they were out of room in their current facility and were providing for room for growth.”

Varma Family LP in September bought a 14.4-acre site with an a 141,134-square-foot existing building at 2085 W.E. Freeman Drive in Memphis Defense Depot from The Depot Redevelopment Corp. of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee, for $1.1 million.

Cordova Safety Products, a division of International Sourcing Co. Inc., which is owned by Varma, is headquartered at 2085 W.E. Freeman Drive. Founded in 1994, International Sourcing imports and distributes safety products to distributors and retailers across the country.

International Sourcing was named one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America by Inc. Magazine for 2008, 2009 and 2010. The company, which employs 74, approached $47 million in revenue in 2010.

• In other commercial leasing news, Crazy Cactus has inked a 4,800-square-foot lease in Parkway Plaza Shopping Center, 2200 N. Germantown Parkway.

The Mexican restaurant will take over the southern end-cap of the 28,000-square-foot Cordova shopping center anchored by Newk’s. The space formerly housed Grisanti’s Bol a Pasta, and most recently, Slim Skillets.

Danny Buring, partner with The Shopping Center Group LLC, represented Linda Vacio, the owner of Crazy Cactus. The landlord, Alea Properties (USA) LLC, represented itself.

Buring said the second-generation restaurant space was a good fit for the tenant, due to the connected patio and parking field.

“Linda looked at it in the middle of January and within two weeks of the first time we looked at it, she had a lease signed, which is pretty unusual,” Buring said. “What I told Linda was, ‘It’s a built-out restaurant space on Germantown Parkway at a traffic light, and that’s a pretty unusual hot commodity.’ I thought it was something she should move on quickly and they did.”

Vacio is from Memphis and wants her first restaurant venture to be “more modern” than other Mexican dining options in town.

“We’re still going to have authentic Mexican food, but it’s more relaxed and laid-back,” Vacio said. “You go into every other Mexican restaurant and it looks the same. This is more like a Mexican restaurant-bar … a place where you want to come and watch basketball games but still have the option of eating other kinds of Mexican food.”

Crazy Cactus is aiming for a mid-April opening, in time for Cinco de Mayo, Vacio said.

Also, Leslie J. Johnson, office manager at State Farm Insurance, has leased 1,600 square feet in Hacks Cross Shopping Center, in the space of a former State Farm representative who retired.

The Shopping Center Group’s Shawn Massey and Robert Sloan represented the landlord, PMT Partners XVIII. The tenant represented herself.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 65 366 17,721
MORTGAGES 70 417 23,068
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 91 4,519
BUILDING PERMITS 210 932 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 62 299 16,691
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 80 5,781
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 49 305 25,174
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 96 5,381

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