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VOL. 126 | NO. 230 | Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sarah Baker

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

Willow Lake Apartments Fetch $7.8M

By Sarah Baker

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A North Hickory Hill apartment complex has traded hands for the second time in 18 months.

Bloomington, Minn.-based New Life Core Willow Lake LLC has bought Willow Lake Apartments at 2774 Mendenhall Road from NW-Willow Lake LLC for $7.8 million. The purchase was financed with a $7 million loan through KeyBank NA.

Willow Lake Apartments is an 836-unit apartment complex on about 46 acres on the east side of South Mendenhall Road south of where it splits from Mount Moriah Road. The property was 80 percent occupied at the time of the sale.

The seller, NW-Willow Lake LLC, is affiliated with Nationwide Life Insurance Co., the lender on a $9 million refinance taken out in 2004 by previous owner Sun Pac. Nationwide bought the property back at an April 2010 foreclosure sale for $7 million after Sun Pac defaulted on that loan.

Blake Pera and Tommy Bronson III with CB Richard Ellis Memphis’ multifamily division represented the seller.

“This property is one of the more unique assets in the area, and the buyer was attracted to its size and upside,” Pera said in a statement. “This group has been successful repositioning large properties in other markets, and it will be exciting to see them improve this asset in the coming months.”

Willow Lake comprises four parcels encompassing three addresses: 2774 Mendenhall Road, 2848 S. Mendenhall Road and 5550 Bayshore Drive, according to the sale deed.

Two parcels are vacant land with nominal values. The other two house the combined 841 units and 850,000 square feet of space spread across multiple buildings.

Built in 1969, the Class C investment grade complex has a combined 2011 appraised value of $8.1 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property. Its 2010 combined appraisal was $13 million, and its 2009 appraisal was $18.2 million.

Willow Lake has a unit mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom garden and townhouse-style units, averaging 950 square feet. Amenities include a 9.5-acre lake and canal flowing through the property.

In other commercial leasing news, Atlanta-based Industrial Developments International has signed a new 212,880-square-foot lease with General Electric International Inc. at Crossroads Distribution Center, Building A, in Olive Branch.

GE International, a subsidiary of General Electric Co., will join Smiths Medical in Building A, which brings the 452,743-square-foot building to 100 percent occupancy.

GE is relocating from another business park in DeSoto County where it leased 60,000 square feet. The expanded and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified space at 9124 Polk Lane in Olive Branch will be used for distribution of wind turbines by GE Energy’s Wind Services business.

Lisa Harber of CBRE Atlanta and Patrick Burke of CBRE Memphis represented GE in the lease transaction.

Tim Moore, vice president of leasing in IDI’s Memphis office, which represented the landlord, said in a release that GE was looking to expand and that center’s location in the DeSoto County submarket was appealing.

“The fact that we could offer them a LEED-certified space with green building features appealed to them given their use of the space for the company’s alternative energy business,” Moore said.

Crossroads Distribution Center Building A received LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2009 and is the newest distribution facility in the Memphis area to receive this designation. Sustainable features of the building include skylights and environmentally friendly roof.

The complex is a Class-A, master planned business park with 1.25 million square feet in Buildings A and F, both of which are LEED-certified. When fully developed, Crossroads Distribution Center will have approximately 7 million square feet.

IDI’s Memphis market office has had a strong year so far, leasing a total of 1.5 million square feet since the beginning of 2011, according to the release.

Earlier this year, IDI announced plans to build a 234,000-square-foot pharmaceutical distribution facility for Watson Pharmaceutical’s Anda Distribution division at Crossroads.

PROPERTY SALES 56 56 9,658
MORTGAGES 49 49 10,665
BUILDING PERMITS 212 212 21,170
BANKRUPTCIES 49 49 6,157