Exchange Building Sells at Bargain Price

By Eric Smith

The Exchange Building at 130 Madison Ave. sold for a fraction of its value in a successor trustee’s deed last month when it was reclaimed by the lender following a foreclosure.

Although the sale closed in March, the deed wasn’t recorded by the Sheby County Register of Deeds until Wednesday.

The century-old, 19-story apartment tower fetched $1.9 million from Northwest Capital Group Inc., an affiliate of Warren, Pa.-based Northwest Savings Bank, which foreclosed the building in February.

Troubles arose when the previous owner, the Exchange Building Limited Partnership, defaulted on a $2.9 million construction loan through First Tennessee Bank NA dated Jan. 31, 1995.

After a number of loan modifications and reassignments, the debt on the 202-unit, 217,244-square-foot apartment tower wound up in the hands of Northwest.

The bank then appointed Thomas R. Dyer and Douglas M. Alrutz of the Memphis law firm Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP as successor trustees.

They scheduled a successor trustees’ sale March 10 at noon on the Shelby County Courthouse steps, but the building didn’t formally sell until March 22.

A message left with one of the trustees wasn’t immediately returned.

Built in 1910 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979, the apartment building underwent an extensive renovation in the mid-1990s.

The owners secured payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) funding through the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. for the project.

The building, which has an alternate address of 9 N. Second St., sits on 0.25 acres at the northwest corner of Madison and Second, just south of Court Square.

Its 2009 appraisal was $4.2 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

The Exchange Building, also referred to as the Memphis Merchants Exchange by Memphis Heritage, sits across the street from another high-profile property that recently was foreclosed, the Goodwyn Condominiums at 127 Madison.