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VOL. 125 | NO. 249 | Thursday, December 23, 2010

Loeb Buys Park Place for $10.3M

By Sarah Baker

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Loeb Properties Inc. has bought Park Place Centre from Belz Enterprises Inc. for $10.3 million – the biggest retail transaction of the year.

Park Place Memphis LLC, a Loeb affiliate, acquired the 175,000-square-foot center at the southwest corner of Park Avenue and Ridgeway Road from Belz Park Place GP, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Loeb financed the purchase through First Tennessee Bank NA for $7.5 million.

Belz Park Place GP is an affiliate of Belz Enterprises, a longtime Memphis commercial, office and industrial development company.

Calls to both Loeb and Belz were not returned by press time.

The shopping center was built in 1981 and sits on 13.86 acres.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2010 appraisal of the property was $16.9 million.

Its parcels are listed as 1225 Ridgeway Road, 1181 Ridgeway, 1171 Ridgeway and 1250 Park Place Center.

Belz bought the property in the spring of 1996 from Galveston, Texas-based American National Insurance Co., according to Belz’s website. At that time, the once-busy mall had deteriorated into an almost vacant shell, a company press release stated.

Park Place Centre – whose tenants include Jason’s Deli, Amerigo Italian Restaurant, Stash Inc., I.O. Metro and Hallmark – is in a prime East Memphis location not too far from Poplar Avenue and Interstate 240.

As of 2009, about 78,000 people lived in the center’s three-mile radius, with an average household income of $99,000.

"Park Place is a well-positioned shopping center with a great tenant mix in an excellent location," Robert Loeb, president of Loeb Properties, said in a statement. "The area's proximity to a solid daytime office population was also really appealing."

Loeb owns and manages a portfolio of more than 2 million square feet of retail, office, multifamily and industrial properties in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Belz has been trying to shed much of its portfolio, especially on the retail side.

The company sold Northgate Shopping Center, 3200 Thomas St., earlier this year.

In October, the commercial real estate firm listed its 484,384-square-foot Eastgate Shopping Center for $33.8 million and 200,000-square-foot Germantown Village Square for $20.5 million.

Other recent sales include one of the company’s entities, Belz Investco GP, selling seven parcels near the U.S. Highway 61 intersection for $6.1 million in August and 9,800 acres in south Shelby County/north DeSoto County for $8.4 million in September.

Park Place Centre has seen some changes during 2010. For example, boutique furniture store Stash took over the former Sports Authority space in the center about seven months ago when that tenant moved to nearby Ridgeway Trace.

The sale was by far the biggest retail transaction of 2010, more than doubling the year’s second-highest retail deal. That occurred in August when the Shops at Rock Creek, a two-building, 61,000-square-foot strip shopping center built on two parcels in 2006, sold for $4.4 million following a foreclosure.

The center sits on 5.5 acres at the southwest corner of North Germantown Parkway and Rockcreek Parkway. The Shelby County Assessor’s combined 2010 appraisal of the two parcels is $6.8 million.

Only a dozen or so retail centers have eclipsed the $10 million mark in the past five years. And no deals this big have closed since November 2009 when a joint venture between Weingarten Realty Investors and Hines Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), both of Houston, paid a combined $41.6 million for the majority share of two local Kroger-anchored retail centers: the Commons at Dexter Lake and Mendenhall Commons.

PROPERTY SALES 98 172 17,556
MORTGAGES 101 194 20,229
BUILDING PERMITS 223 349 36,295
BANKRUPTCIES 52 115 11,279