Cole Real Estate Takes a Piece of Chattanooga-Area Shopping Center

Cole Real Estate Investments has purchased 153,000 square feet in the Cleveland Towne Center in Tennessee from a joint venture composed of Batson-Cook Development and Warren Commercial.

January 5, 2012
By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor

The Atlanta office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. has closed the sale of approximately 153,000 square feet of the 349,000-square-foot Cleveland Towne Center in Cleveland, Tenn., the company announced Wednesday. Cleveland is in the eastern part of the two-county Chattanooga metro area, which evidently is undergoing an economic boom.

HFF managing directors Jim Hamilton and Richard Reid led the team that marketed the property on behalf of Cleveland Towne Center L.L.C., a joint venture partnership between Batson-Cook Development Co., Atlanta, and Brentwood, Tenn.–based Warren Commercial Real Estate. The buyer was Cole Real Estate Investments, Phoenix, in an all-cash transaction; the dollar amount was not disclosed. Cole-related entities own and manage more than 57 million square feet of commercial real estate in 47 states representing a combined acquisition cost of approximately $9.5 billion.

Developed by Batson-Cook in 2008, Cleveland Towne Center is adjacent to I-75 about 25 miles northeast of Chattanooga. The portion of the center that was sold includes spaces occupied by Bed Bath & Beyond, Ross Dress For Less, Michaels, Electronic Express and Books-A-Million. The center’s shadow anchors are Target and Kohl’s, which separately own their own boxes, together accounting for the other roughly 200,000 square feet in the center.

The property is currently 91 percent leased, but Hamilton told Commercial Property Executive he expects that figure to hit 100 percent before too long, based on the considerable extent of economic development and job growth in Hamilton and Bradley counties.

The biggest piece of that growth was a new $1 billion Volkswagen plant about 17 miles away that opened in May 2011 and created about 2,000 direct new jobs.

Also in 2011 and just across the road, online retailing giant Amazon.com opened a new 1 million-square-foot distribution/fulfillment center.

About six miles north of the shopping center, Wacker Chemie AG, a German company, broke ground in July 2011 on a new facility to produce hyper-pure crystalline polysilicon for photovoltaic solar cells. According to Hamilton, the $1.6 billion plant will create 650 jobs.

Adjacent to that site, chemical and ammunition maker Olin Corp. broke ground last July on a $160 million plant expansion/upgrade of its existing chlor-alkali plant in Charleston, Tenn. The expansion will increase production at the facility, while using cleaner technology and preserving 350 existing jobs.

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