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VOL. 129 | NO. 18 | Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Developers Show Interest in Germantown’s Arthur Property

By Amos Maki

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Developers are showing increased interest in the 33-acre property owned by the heirs of Boyd Arthur Sr. in Germantown. The city of Germantown approved a 1.1 million-square-foot, mixed-use development plan for the site in 2009.

A 33-acre site near Saddle Creek in Germantown is seeing increased interest from developers and could change hands as early as this year, according to a real estate agent marketing the property.

Murray Foster, a broker with Taliesyn Realty, said interest in the property owned by the heirs of Boyd Arthur Sr. picked up last year and remains strong in 2014.

“Interest really picked up in 2013 and I would say we’re in as good a position as we have been to get something done on the property this year,” Foster said.

The Arthur property, at the southwest corner of Poplar Avenue and West Street behind Saddle Creek South, has been scouted for development for years. Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers, the original developer of Saddle Creek, at one point wanted to develop the Arthur estate, but that deal fell apart.

Atlanta-based Concordia Properties LLC, which is known for developing neighborhood retail and mixed-use projects, has been negotiating with the Arthur family but has not yet struck a deal to acquire the property. As those talks have continued, Foster said the site has drawn interest from developers from California and Birmingham, Ala.

“We have been in discussions with Concordia but nothing has come to fruition at this time,” Foster said. “I would say here is a fairly high level of interest in a property of this size.”

The city of Germantown approved a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development plan for the site in 2009. The site plan includes 308,700 square feet of retail space, 33,500 square feet of restaurant space, 175,000 square feet of office space, 160,000 square feet of hotel space and 490,000 square feet of residential space.

The site plan for the Arthur property aligns with Germantown’s plans for mixed-use development and enhancing its western edge.

Germantown hired the Lawrence Group, a North Carolina-based town planning and architectural firm, to develop guidelines for the redevelopment of its western gateway.

The Lawrence Group plan focuses on a 58-acre tract bounded by Poplar Avenue on the north, Poplar Pike on the south, the city’s border on the west and the Nottaway subdivision on the east.

The western gateway plan, which was scheduled to have its first public reading before the Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday, Jan. 27, is an outgrowth of Germantown’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, which identified five strategic areas in the city that could be redeveloped, including the western gateway.

In 2005, Germantown adopted its “Vision 2020” plan, the smart growth redevelopment plan that promotes mixed-use development combining commercial, residential and retail space in a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. The “Vision 2020” smart growth plan laid out a vision for developing the city’s central business district with pedestrian-friendly streets, a town square-inspired environment and taller buildings with retail on the ground floor and residences above.

“This property was really in mind when all of that was done,” Foster said. “You need a place like this that can draw corporate headquarters and high-end shopping.”

Foster said high income levels, population density and high traffic counts should make the site, and Germantown as a whole, an attractive destination for upscale developers.

Foster said the redevelopment of Saddle Creek and other development plans in Germantown should fuel interest in the Arthur property.

Texas-based Trademark Property Co. will soon launch a multimillion-dollar renovation and expansion of Saddle Creek.

Trademark will expand the portion of the 148,000-square-foot lifestyle center on the southwest side of Poplar Avenue and West Street in Germantown. Trademark will also demolish 20,000 square feet of existing space before building 40,000 square feet of new space, bringing a total of 20,000 square feet of new space. The project also includes remodeled building exteriors for Saddle Creek South and West.

“That has nothing but enhanced our position,” Foster said. “The stars are aligning perfectly.”

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751