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VOL. 133 | NO. 153 | Friday, August 3, 2018

College of Art Closing on a Dozen Properties it is Selling Near Overton Park Site

The Daily News

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Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story indicated the Womack House at 152 N. Tucker was sold. The transaction was for an easement, not the entire property.

Memphis College of Art has either sold or accepted offers on all 12 of the properties it owns just south of Poplar Avenue and Overton Park where the school is headquartered.

The financially strapped college is disposing of its apartment buildings, single-family homes, office and studio/class space, and dormitories in preparation for closing by spring 2020.

The sales “have proceeded well, with offers having been made and accepted on all property,’’ MCA president Laura Hine said by email Friday.

At least three sales have been completed, according to the Shelby County Register’s website.

•158 N. Tucker (“Easterwood House’’) sold for $230,000 to J.P. Fillmore LLC on July 20;

•148 N. Tucker (“Faiers House”) sold to Smart Living USA LLC on June 27 with a bank loan of $204,000 posted);

•124 N. Tucker (Tucker Place Apartments) sold to CityVest Rentals Tucker Place Apartments LLC for $630,000 on May 25.

The school is expected to complete the other sales by the end of the year, Hine said.

The college will not identify the anticipated buyers because of the closed bidding process used by MCA’s real estate broker, Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors.

Earlier this year, the firm estimated the total market value of the properties to be $13 million to $15 million.

Since all the transactions are not final, Hine declined to reveal the total of the completed and anticipated sales.

But she did say, “In general, MCA is pleased with the way it seems to be going and that the bank debt will be satisfied entirely, with excess proceeds being directed to help cover the costs of teaching-out our students.’’

The disposition of Rust Hall, the college’s main building with signature, modern architecture, will be handled much differently because it is in Overton Park with a ground lease from the city of Memphis. More stakeholders are involved.

“As for the beloved Rust Hall… both the Memphis Area Creative Collaborative and the National Ornamental Metal Museum have formally expressed an interest in Rust Hall, and both organizations continue in their due diligence,’’ Hine said.

“MCA is working in partnership with the city on the future use and the development of a decision-making process – a process that will be in sync with the long-term master planning Overton Park Conservancy is formally undertaking,’’ she said.

Other properties being sold by the college just south of Poplar and Overton Park are:

• Dormitories Metz Hall and Fogelman Hall at 149-139 N. Barksdale;

• Gibson Hall at 1935 Poplar and Overton House at 1949 Poplar;

• At the Park apartments at 165 N. Rembert;

• A vacant lot at 162 N. Tucker;

• Hudson House at 157 N. Rembert;

• Cloar House at 155 N. Tucker.

Meanwhile, the college is preparing to welcome back students for the fall term.

“Our greatest priority is getting our existing students to degree attainment,’’ Hine said.

PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225