MetLife Acquires Nashville Shopping Village for $93M

Branch Properties and co-developer Crosland Southeast built the One Bellevue Place retail and entertainment complex on the former site of a mall, 10 minutes from the city’s downtown.
Sprouts at One Bellevue Place

One Bellevue Place, a retail and entertainment complex that was built on the site of a former mall in Nashville, Tenn., has changed hands. Branch Properties LLC, an Atlanta-based real estate company, sold the property to MetLife Corp. for $93 million. The sale comes about three years after Branch Properties acquired the 87-acre site, which is situated 10 minutes from downtown Nashville.

One Bellevue Place, located at the intersection of Highway 70 and Interstate 40, is a Main Street-style shopping village anchored by Sprouts Farmers Market, AMC Theatres, HomeGoods, Michaels, Ross Dress for Less and Ulta Beauty.

Chris Decouflé, CBRE executive vice president, along with CBRE brokers Matt Karempelis, Paul Gaither and Chris Bosworth represented Branch Properties in the sale.

“The $93 million sale of the retail village at One Bellevue Place is a landmark transaction on many fronts. MetLife acquired this regionally dominant project in a competitive process, highlighting the market’s appetite for new construction when rational rents structures are married to a prescient merchandizing strategy,” Decouflé said in a prepared statement.

Branch, in partnership with co-developer Crosland Southeast of Charlotte, N.C., demolished the old 850,000-square-foot mall, which had been closed since 2008, and built more than 355,000 square feet of new buildings. Four parcels of land were sold to other developers including Crescent Communities, which built a 337-unit multifamily property called Novel Bellevue Place. The community also recently changed hands with an acquisition by The Praedium Group.

Moving forward

The retail center redevelopment took a big step forward in July 2015, when the Nashville Industrial Development Board approved $2.8 million in additional funds for a $15 million tax increment financing plan for the project. At that time, the mall owner was Retail Properties of America Inc. and Crosland Southeast was involved in the $200 million redevelopment plan.

Ulta Beauty at One Bellevue Place

Following the sale of the property to Branch, Crosland South began development in 2016 and completed it in late 2017. The mixed-use project now has national retailers, an upscale grocery store, restaurants and luxury apartments. The retail portion acquired by MetLife is 91 percent occupied. Future components will include two hotels—a 111-key Home2 Suites by Hilton and 99-key Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott—as well as a 200-unit Clarendale Bellevue senior living center and the 120,000-square-foot Nashville Predators Ice and Community Center.

“Since we began our efforts in 2013, our goal has been to build a place that restores community pride in Bellevue, a special place that local and regional residents can enjoy regularly and with great satisfaction,” Tim Sittema, managing partner of Crosland Southeast, said in a prepared statement. “One Bellevue Place is a wonderful example of how the public and private sectors can truly collaborate and with great results.”

Sittema and Jesse Shannon, Branch Properties chief investment officer, credited several Nashville officials including Mayor David Briley and Councilmember Sheri Weiner, with helping to achieve the successful redevelopment of the old mall site.

“The transformation of a dead shopping mall into a vibrant community asset is a model for other cities around the country. All over the U.S., many malls are experiencing decline,” Weiner said in a prepared statement. “This is a success story not only for the developers but also for Bellevue and the entire Nashville community.”

Branch Properties transactions

“Along with our development partner, Crosland Southeast, we’re proud to have been a driving force in the transformation of One Bellevue Place into a vibrant retail village. We’re grateful to the retailers, restaurants and other businesses at Bellevue, as well as the city and its residents for their support,” said Shannon, who noted the transaction was one of the largest individual retail asset sales in the company’s 45-year history.

Last February, Branch Properties acquired Tates Creek Centre and Millpond Center, two Kroger-anchored shopping centers based in Lexington, Ky., from Weingarten Realty for $59.7 million. The 196,028-square-foot Tates Creek Centre has a tenant roster including Proof Fitness, Rite Aid, PNC Bank and H&R Block, while the 124,498-square-foot Millpond Center’s tenants included Workout Anytime, Subway and Pizza Hut.

In October 2017, Branch Properties purchased an 876,153-square-foot, multi-state portfolio comprising six grocery-anchored properties in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, with properties anchored by Publix, Kroger and Whole Foods.

Images courtesy of CBRE