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VOL. 127 | NO. 93 | Friday, May 11, 2012

Sarah Baker

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

Essex Signs Two Leases For Discount Store Locales

By Sarah Baker

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A Nashville-based discount retailer has entered the Memphis market in full force, inking two leases totaling 77,301 square feet.

Essex Bargain Hunt has leased 35,767 square feet at 590 N. Germantown Parkway and 41,534 square feet at 5124 Summer Ave. Kemp Conrad and Neely Mallory IV of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC represented the tenant in both transactions.

Essex sells apparel, electronics, toys, house wares, office supplies, sporting goods and more. The company currently operates in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia, and has been eyeing the Memphis market for “a while now,” Mallory said.

“They typically operate within a two-hour driving distance of Nashville and they just recently started to expand beyond that, so Memphis was a very logical next step,” Mallory said. “These were really perfect for them. They typically fall within about a 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot range for their buildings, but they decided to go a little bit bigger in the Memphis market.”

The 35,767-square-foot space in Germantown was purchased last month by an entity related to Memphis-based Hackmeyer Properties. The property once housed Haverty Furniture Co. Inc., which then subleased space to Four Seasons furniture.

Alex Turley of CB Richard Ellis Memphis represented the landlord in Essex’s new Germantown lease.

Meanwhile, Ed Thomas and Andrew Phillips of Colliers International handled Essex’s 41,534-square-foot lease in Summer Commons on behalf of the landlord, Weston, Fla.-based Coastal Equities Inc. The 139,785-square-foot retail center located at Summer near White Station Road in Berclair is made up of three free-standing retail buildings, anchored by a Save-A-Lot grocery store, Dollar Tree and Northern Tool and Equipment Co.

“Essex was able to take the entire 41,000 square feet on the end-cap of the Northern Tool building,” Thomas said. “There are not many 41,000-square-foot users that can complement an outfit like Northern Tool.”

Mallory said both leases represent good opportunities for Essex, because of each area’s traffic counts and demographics.

“These are the type of busy areas that they shoot for, and they were also able to obtain low rents,” he said. “They have intensions to expand their operations further, just see how these go.”

• In other deals, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis has renewed its 45,992-square-foot lease in The Market of Riverdale Bend, 7130 Winchester Road, and also expanded into the 15,610 square feet that once housed Petco Animal Supplies Inc.

Thomas and Phillips handed the transaction.

Of Habitat’s 46,000-square-foot existing space, 30,000 square feet occupies the organization’s ReStore, a retail shop that resells donations of household goods, appliances, computers and housebuilding materials for revenue to support the Habitat programs.

The remainder of the space houses Habitat’s offices for its 20 employees, classrooms for families and a small resource center for the homeowners.

Habitat’s new 15,600-square-foot space abutted the ReStore and offered the prime opportunity for expansion, said executive director Dwayne Spencer.

“The bulk of it is definitely to expand the floor space for shopping and for display of the merchandise that we sell,” Spencer said. “Additionally, the front part of the new space will have a drop-off center so that individuals who want to drive up and drop-off a washer or dryer or other materials can do so without having to deal with the shoppers on the other side at the current store.”

Habitat will also use the extended space for two new concepts. The first is called HOMEroom – a workable space partially funded through a grant from the city where homeowners can learn tasks like how to unclog a sink or change filters in HVAC units.

The second initiative will be called HabiTeams, a volunteer-driven program that allows a space for hands-on experience as well as a classroom setting.

Spencer said Habitat’s expansion will likely entail the addition of two to three full-time employees as well as two part-time.

• And Whole Foods Market Inc. announced plans in its May 2 second quarter earnings conference call to demolish its existing 25,000-square-foot store at 5022 Poplar Ave. and move into the adjacent 40,000-square-foot space currently occupied by Office Depot.

Darrah Horgan, spokeswoman for Whole Foods’ southern region, said the current Whole Foods space will be converted into parking. Whole Foods acquired Wild Oats in 2007 and moved into the space.

“The Memphis store on Poplar is a great location for us, so this is kind of the best of all possibilities because we can keep the location and we can expand it by 15,000 square feet,” Horgan said. “Our customers have been asking us for several years now because it gets quite busy in that store, the weekends especially. We’re just excited to be able to offer more selection, more parking, and I think it will be better all around.”

Construction is expected to start in mid-2013, and Whole Foods anticipates an early 2014 completion. As far as future Memphis locations, Horgan said, “our real estate team is always looking for new locations, but we don’t have any other plans for Memphis right now.”

PROPERTY SALES 56 437 16,061
MORTGAGES 76 508 18,556
BUILDING PERMITS 241 876 33,390
BANKRUPTCIES 64 301 10,314