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VOL. 128 | NO. 7 | Thursday, January 10, 2013

Helen of Troy Plans Build-to-Suit

By Sarah Baker

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Helen of Troy Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of household products, has finalized plans to build a 1.3 million-square-foot distribution facility in Olive Branch.

The $37 million facility will be constructed on a 77-acre site in the Whispering Woods development on Polk Lane in DeSoto County. CB Richard Ellis Memphis brokers Patrick Burke, Tommy Jackson and Jim Mercer represented Panattoni Development Co. in the land sale and build-to-suit negotiations to Helen of Troy, which closed on Dec. 28.

The facility, Helen of Troy’s second in Mississippi, is expected to be complete by December. The company also operates a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution facility in Southaven and a 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Memphis, used to support a significant portion of its domestic distribution.

Helen of Troy is based in Bermuda with its U.S. headquarters, Helen of Troy L.P., in El Paso, Texas. Helen of Troy products include Dr Scholls, Health o Meter, Revlon, Sunbeam, Vidal Sassoon, Idelle Labs, OXO, Hot Tools and Wigo.

With the addition of its new 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center, Helen of Troy will have a total of 2.5 million square feet of owned and operated distribution capacity in DeSoto County, Helen of Troy chairman, CEO and president Gerald J. Rubin said in a statement. The project will create more than 300 new jobs.

“This is a significant commitment for Helen of Troy and we will continue to benefit from the skilled workforce, logistics infrastructure and geographic attractiveness of DeSoto County,” Rubin said.

The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance for site preparation and relocation needs related to the project through the Mississippi Industry Incentive Financing Revolving Fund. The agency also provided assistance for infrastructure improvements through the Development Infrastructure Program, as well as job training assistance.

The city of Olive Branch and DeSoto County also provided assistance in support of the project.

CBRE Memphis brokers indicate that build-to-suit interest has been positive.

“In the last several months we have discussed build-to-suit transactions with numerous firms, particularly in the north Mississippi area,” Jackson said. “We made several proposals for smaller buildings, and it appears that our patience allowed us to be in a strong position to win this large deal.”

Burke added that Panattoni’s Whispering Woods site is an ideal location for Helen of Troy and one that can accommodate a building larger than 1 million square feet.

“We think our market will see additional build-to-suit deals in 2013,” Burke said.

In addition to the 1.3-million-square-foot Helen of Troy facility, Panattoni’s Tennessee/Mississippi team, led by partner Whitfield Hamilton, has a 400,000-square-foot facility under construction in Knoxville, as well as 1.5 million square feet of deals starting in Nashville.

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