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VOL. 126 | NO. 34 | Friday, February 18, 2011

Sarah Baker

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

Mt. Zion Upgrades to Larger Church in Frayser

By Sarah Baker

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Two Memphis area churches have closed on a deal that’s been in the pipeline for about a year and a half.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1280 Stonewall St., bought the 36,000-square-foot church at 1621 Dellwood Ave. in Frayser from Schoolfield United Methodist Church Inc. for $500,000.

Schoolfield seats about 600 and the fellowship hall seats about 200. Other amenities include 25 classrooms, a choir and a nursery.

Charles Callis, vice president and broker with Crye-Leike Commercial, was the only representative involved in the deal.

The average age of a church that relocates is about 35 years, Callis said. In order to grow rather than plateau or decline, churches have to change their ministries or change their location.

Founded in 1960, Schoolfield’s congregation had gone down, from about 600 to less than 40 members.

“(Schoolfield’s) membership dispersed to three other Methodist churches,” Callis said. “The location and the size were appealing to Mt. Zion because they are going from a much smaller church.”

Mt. Zion plans to do some renovations to suit their needs.

Other Crye-Leike Commercial deals in recent weeks include 10,640-square-foot ATC Fitness Center, which signed a five-year lease in Germantown Church Center, 3040 Forrest Hill-Irene Road.

The lease will mark ATC’s 11th store already open or in the works in the Memphis area.

Jennifer Stewart with Gill Properties Inc. represented the tenant. M. Michele Harris, commercial agent with the Downtown division of Crye-Leike Property Management Inc., represented the landlord, The Germantown Church Center.

Also, Towne & Country Cleaners signed a five-year lease in Crye-Leike’s shopping center at 435 New Byhalia Road, Suite 116, for 1,440 square feet.

Towne & Country Cleaners will fill the space formerly occupied by Quality Carpets of Collierville Inc.

Brenda D. Surratt with Crye-Leike Commercial represented the tenant, while Harris represented Crye-Leike as the landlord.

In other commercial leasing news, Austin-Texas based Virtus Real Estate, a real estate private equity firm, has recently acquired two self-storage centers in the Memphis area.

Virtus bought Memphis-based Collierville Mini Storage, 314 S. Mt. Pleasant Road, for an undisclosed amount. The facility contains available 347 units covering about 49,300 square feet of rentable footage. The self-storage units were approximately 90 percent physically occupied at acquisition.

Virtus also bought Winchester Pointe Mini Storage, 6714 Winchester Pointe Cove, for an undisclosed amount. The facility has 500 units totaling approximately 59,870 square feet of rentable footage.

Both purchases served as prime targets in the firm’s commercial property investment strategy – emphasizing the role of specific demographic trends and seeking investments outside of traditional real estate asset classes.

“With the committed focus on investing in asset types whose demand is driven by measurable demographic trends, the time to invest and grow is now,” CEO and founder of Virtus Real Estate Terrell Gates said in a statement. “We are hyper-focused on minimizing the impact of fluctuations in the market place.”

Since 2003, Virtus Real Estate has bought more than 125 properties with an acquisition price of more than $1.6 billion nationwide. Virtus focuses exclusively on assets it considers to be resilient to economic and capital market forces such as self-storage, student housing, senior housing and medical offices.

• Shon and Dana Lin signed a 4,560-square-foot-lease at 7204 Airways in the space formerly occupied by The Futon Store.

The owners – who currently own Redfish Asian Bistro at Houston Levee Road and Hunan Chinese Restaurant in Eastgate Shopping Center – plan to open a Mongolian grill.

Sam Zalowitz of Zalowitz Commercial Realty LLC represented the tenant. Michael Lightman of Michael Lightman Realty Co. represented family members who owned the property.

In addition, Corky’s Rib’s & BBQ’s catering division has leased a 1,809-square-foot space in Belz Enterprises Inc.’s Poplar Pointe shopping center, 5679 Poplar Ave, Suite 102.

Zalowitz represented the tenant, who will be occupying a space that had been vacant for more than five years. Corky’s will join tenants Olive Garden Restaurant, Starbucks and Triumph Bank.

Belz’s Stan Myers represented the landlord.

PROPERTY SALES 57 57 1,266
MORTGAGES 48 48 964