VOL. 132 | NO. 240 | Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Outside Investors to Purchase Gibson Factory in Downtown Memphis
By Patrick Lantrip
New York and Miami investors have purchased the Gibson Guitar Factory property in Downtown Memphis, but their plans for it are still forming. (Daily News File/Houston Cofield)
Investment firms in New York and Miami have purchased the Gibson Guitar Factory property in Downtown Memphis and an additional warehouse Gibson Brands Inc. owns in Nashville.
In what was described as a “complex transaction,” real estate investment firms Somera Road Inc. of New York and Tricera Capital of Miami have teamed up to buy the iconic Memphis property, which is situated due west of the FedExForum and just south of the Beale Street entertainment district.
“We’re especially interested in markets with a growing and buzzing millennial population, and we continue to invest in those urban cores,” Scott Sherman of Tricera Capital said. “Memphis checked all of the boxes we look for in new markets. With the continuously growing Downtown population, we are eager to use this transaction to open the door to additional opportunities. We want to capitalize on Memphis’ narrative and economic growth.”
The transaction, which is expected to close on Dec. 13, includes the 150,000-square-foot factory and showroom located at 145 Lt. George W. Lee Ave. and a 350-space parking lot at 0 Pontotoc Ave.
Financial terms of the sale were not immediately available.
“Scott and I were aware of Memphis, but until we visited, we had no idea how unique this market is,” Ian Ross of Somera Road said. “We’re excited to get to know the various stakeholders here and explore all viable development options for the property. We want to be great partners to the city and are eager to engage the community to determine what is best suited for this site.”
Ross and Sherman indicated that they are still in the process of determining the best use of the property and have tapped Andy Cates and Andrew Phillips of Colliers International for property management and leasing services.
“The Gibson building is a prime location in the heart of Downtown Memphis, and it’s uniquely positioned at the epicenter of growth,” Ross said. “We can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
When Nashville-based guitar maker Gibson Brands put its 6-acre, Beale Street Showcase and Guitar Factory up for sale in late October, the real estate community knew the hot property would not stay on the market very long.
The Daily News originally broke the news that Gibson was selling its guitar factory and adjacent parking lot across South B.B. King Boulevard from FedExForum on Oct. 20.
At the time, a representative of the sellers told TDN that while Gibson won’t be leaving Memphis anytime soon, the owners felt the current location was too big for what they need.
The next day, the guitar maker confirmed that it was putting its Downtown Memphis factory on the market and announced plans to build and lease a new facility at an undisclosed location nearby to improve product quality, increase production capacity and potentially increase local employment.
At the time, CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said Gibson Brands was seeking a buyer that would allow Gibson to continue to operate in the current location while the new facility is under construction, according to the announcement.
Founded in 1894, Gibson produces musical instruments, consumer electronics and professional audio equipment. Along with the Memphis factory, it has production facilities in Nashville and in Bozeman, Montana.
The 24,080-square-foot Nashville warehouse, which sits on a half-acre in the North Gulch district, was also acquired by Somera Road and Tricera Capital for $6.83 million, the Tennessean reported on Nov. 14.