A pair of recent multimillion-dollar transactions may indicate a surge in commercial real estate activity to head into 2011, especially for occupied property, area agents say.
Within months, Jared Enterprises Inc. sold 14 convenience store properties leased by Kum & Go to a New York-based real estate investment trust for $22 million, and Jared Enterprises-owned CRW Properties Inc. bought BKD LLP’s St. Louis Street headquarters for $13 million from Opus Northwest, according to sources familiar with the deals.
“You probably can’t get too much better of a tenant than the 10th largest accounting firm in the nation,” said Curtis Jared, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Jared Enterprises, following the Dec. 15 transaction of BKD’s 910 E. St. Louis St. building closed.
R.B. Murray Co. Vice President Dave Murray brokered the sale of the 109,000-square-foot four-story BKD building, which cost $21.5 million to construct in 2009, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.
Galen Pellham, an agent with Murney and Associates Realtors, handled the late September sale of the convenience store buildings, which are leased to Kum & Go. In February 2009, Jared Enterprises sold the 37 Cody’s Convenience Stores it had developed over an eight-year span, but the company retained ownership of some of the buildings.
“During the fourth quarter, I have been busier than I have been in the last 18 months,” Pellham said. “I have several people wanting to lease or purchase either office space, or retail or investment properties.”
Murray declined to disclose how many closings his company recorded during the fourth quarter, saying only the number was substantial. The company’s Web site, www.rbmurray.com
, lists fourth-quarter property sales brokered by R.B. Murray including an office building at 1411 E. Primrose Ave.; Plato’s Closet Retail Center at 1258 E. Battlefield Road; and vacant land at Primrose Street and Delaware Avenue.
Ken Schwab, broker with Wilhoit Properties, is optimistic for 2011.
“I think there is strong interest in investment property,” Schwab said. “It’s not reflected in sales in my shop, but there is strong interest. We’re negotiating deals but not closing deals.”
Schwab wouldn’t say how many deals the company has in negotiations but said it is up from 2009.
“There certainly are indications because it’s on an upward trend that it should be better in ’11,” Schwab said.
Traits that help a building’s sale potential include high occupancy rates or stable tenants such as BKD or Kum & Go. Those buildings hold their value better than those with high
vacancy or turnover rates, Murray said.
In the Springfield area, third-quarter vacancy rates in commercial buildings increased from the second quarter, according to the most recent Xceligent Market Report:
• the office vacancy rate climbed to 8.9 percent in third-quarter 2010 from 8.2 percent in second-quarter 2010;
• the industrial building vacancy rate increased to 4.3 percent from 4 percent in second-quarter 2010; and
• the retail building vacancy rate crept to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent in the second quarter.
Large area vacancies include the 945,160-square-foot Solo Cup building at 1100 N. Glenstone Ave. and a 118,400-square-foot building at 1600 W. Jackson St. in Ozark.
There were 3.1 million square feet of total office, retail and industrial space available during the third quarter, up slightly from 3 million square feet available in the second quarter.
Jared Enterprises owns and manages more than 1 million square feet of commercial, retail and office buildings in Springfield, Ozark, Rogersville, Nixa, Lebanon, Branson and Springdale, Ark., according to www.jaredenterprises.com
Springfield properties Jared Enterprises owns include Community Blood Center, 2230 S. Glenstone Ave.; Deerfield Office Suites, 2870 S. Ingram Mill Road; and Vatterott College and Krispy Kreme, at the corner of Campbell Avenue and Primrose Street. The company also leases loft apartments in Springfield and Rogersville, and billboard space.
Its newest tenant, BKD, occupies floors two through four with the 20,000-square-foot first floor available. The gross lease rate for the first floor is $23 per square feet, which includes utility and janitorial services, Jared said.
Neal Spencer, BKD CEO, and John Wanamaker, managing partner, were on vacation and unavailable for comment regarding the company’s new landlord, said spokeswoman Marci Bowling.
“We have been very pleased with Opus Northwest LLC and look forward to continuing our relationship with Jared Enterprises as our new landlord,” she said in a statement.
BKD officials chose Kansas City developer Opus Northwest to build its headquarters on land in University Plaza’s parking lot across the street from Hammons Tower, where it occupied eight floors and called home for 20 years.
BKD, which employs 294, moved into the new headquarters in August 2009, leasing the space from Opus Northwest.
Opus Northwest’s Minneapolis-based parent company, The Opus Group, has landed on tough times as three of its five subsidiary companies – Opus South Corp., Opus East and Opus West – have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2010.
The sale in Springfield is part of a nationwide property sell-off for Opus.
“We’re basically winding down our operations and selling off our assets,” said John Solberg, Opus president and CEO. “It also was a good time in the market for a building like that. There’s a lot of demand right now for buildings of that quality, leased with that quality of a tenant.”[[In-content Ad]]