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VOL. 129 | NO. 163 | Thursday, August 21, 2014

Amos Maki

SEND COMMERCIAL LEASE ANNOUNCEMENTS to Amos Maki, who can be reached at 603-4025 or amos@memphisdailynews.com.

Source: Horizon Under Contract To Be Purchased

By Amos Maki

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Email reporter | Comments ()

The Horizon, an uncompleted 16-story residential tower overlooking the Mississippi River on the southern end of Downtown, could change hands soon.

A yet-to-be-identified buyer is under contract to purchase the tower, according to sources familiar with the effort.

After clearing up a legal quagmire that resulted from foreclosure, a consortium of banks led by Capital One that owns the building, which was originally intended to be an amenity-packed condominium tower, put the unfinished property up for sale.

Offers on the property were due in July and the capital asset services team at Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors has been poring over the offers from a mix of local and national investors looking for the most qualified buyers and the development plan that has the most chance for success.

A spokesman for Capital One declined to identify the potential buyer.

“The bank still owns the property and we are working towards a sale,” said Capital One’s Michael Bulger.

After completing most of the first phase of the project, the original developer, the Bryan Co., defaulted on a $58.6 million loan in 2009. Since then, the 155-unit tower has served as a large and painful reminder on the Downtown skyline of the real estate crash.

Plans to complete the tower remain unclear, but real estate experts have said that with apartment occupancy rates in Downtown Memphis almost at capacity a rental tower would make sense, and so would a mixed-use project featuring units for sale and a retirement community for baby boomers looking to downsize and live in an urban atmosphere.

The international freight-forwarding arm of Memphis-based FedEx has inked a lease for space in East Memphis.

FedEx Trade Networks has leased 22,000 square feet at the Primacy II office building, located at 6055 Primacy Parkway near Ridgeway Road.

Southland Primacy LLC acquired the 129,104-square-foot office building near Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis from Jefferson-Pilot Investments Inc. in February for $4.6 million. Southland Primacy LLC launched an extensive makeover of the grounds and interior common areas of the building, where FedEx Trade Networks will relocate from its current Thousand Oaks location in November. Occupancy of Primacy II now stands at 70 percent, up from 48 percent when the property was acquired earlier this year.

Ron Kastner of CB Richard Ellis Memphis represented the landlord. Wyatt Aiken and Neely Mallory of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors represented FedEx Trade Networks.

FedEx, the Memphis area’s largest private employer and one of the city’s largest office tenants, has been re-evaluating its local real estate needs.

FedEx and its subsidiaries lease space at well-known office buildings such as Crescent Center, Forum II, Renaissance Center and Thousand Oaks, among others.

Earlier this year FedEx decided against extending a roughly 75,000-square-foot lease in Building B at the Lenox Park office complex. According to estimates compiled by commercial real estate brokers, FedEx and its subsidiaries leased around 328,896 square feet of office space in the Memphis area at that time and the 75,000 square feet FedEx Express is vacating at Lenox represented nearly one-fourth of the company’s total leased space.

In a related matter, FedEx executive vice president Christine P. Richards recently wrote a letter in support of the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive (PILOT) program to Memphis officials. In the letter, Richards said the company was “disturbed” by talk of major changes to the program, “particularly with respect to retention, that would disadvantage Memphis in comparison to other locations.”

A PILOT on the company’s global headquarters is slated to expire at the end of the year, according to the Shelby County Trustee’s office.

Rapper Rick Ross is opening a second Wingstop location in DeSoto County.

Ross has signed a lease for 1,500 square feet at 7465 Goodman Road in the Village Shops retail center in Olive Branch, joining an existing Desoto County location in Southaven.

Bambi Kirk represented landlord Utley Properties while Shawn Massey of The Shopping Center Group LLC represented Ross' restaurant company.

Ross, the Platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper, recently opened his fifth Memphis-area Wingstop location at 1619 Union Ave. in Midtown. The Olive Branch location will be his sixth location.

While Ross was in the Bluff City for the opening of the Midtown location, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. presented him with a symbolic key to the city.

The other local Wingstop restaurants are at 2839 Bartlett Blvd., 7706 Winchester Road, 4697 Poplar Ave. and 182 Goodman Road W.

PROPERTY SALES 50 226 2,557
MORTGAGES 44 145 1,731
BUILDING PERMITS 204 569 5,701