The primary focus when searching for a new location was on
southern hub cities with a substantial airport access, infrastructure and a labor pool. ServiceMaster was also keen to find a probusiness environment with opportunities to enhance recruiting
and retention, tech talent and software engineering. The short-listed cities included Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Austin, Orlando
and Tampa, and NGKF evaluated competitive real estate costs,
compelling state and local incentives and affordable housing.
It then identified the opportunity to revitalize the Memphis’
Downtown business district, repurposing an abandoned retail
space and re-envisioning the company’s headquarters. The retail
level Innovation Centre is to be the first of its kind in Memphis and
is modeled on similar concepts at Delta’s global headquarters in
Atlanta and IBM in Dallas.
A NEW RECORD IN ATLANTA
The subject property of this deal is no stranger to Forum’s honor
rolls—it was named a Pioneering Project in 2015. But North
American Properties’ 2016 sale of the first phase of its Avalon
mixed-use lifestyle center in Alpharetta, GA set a single-asset
record for the Atlanta metro area. Reportedly in the range of
$500 million, the deal by PGIM Real Estate included 390,543 sf of
retail, 105,364 sf of office, 250 luxury apartment units and a 3.3-
acre office development parcel. The retail and office components
are 100% leased while the apartments are 98% leased. PGIM will
also purchase a second phase of the 86-acre master planned community—an additional 90,000 sf of retail and 276 luxury rentals—
upon its completion, scheduled for mid-2017.
According to PGIM Americas head Kevin R. Smith, the deal
offers a “rare opportunity to acquire a trophy-quality mixed-use
property in a strong demographic area,” and the development’s
experiential retail component makes it even more compelling.
Originally conceived by NAP, Avalon is described as the
region’s first “urbanburb,” a walkable, urban experience in a
suburban setting. The project attracted the attention of many a
would-be buyer, and reports of the development being for sale
first spread in early 2016. NAP brought in Eastdil Secured to
market the project for sale and assist with the transaction, and
approximately 75 interested parties weighed in before PGIM
Not included in either the 2016 sale to PGIM, or the one slated
to occur later this year, were a 226,924-sf office building being
developed by a joint venture of Hines and Cousins Properties,
100 single-family homes or the 330-key Hotel at Avalon and
adjoining Alpharetta Conference Center.
Specifically, the individuals involved in the transaction included
NAP’s Mark Toro, John Kelley, Tim Perry, Ron Pfohl, Richard
Munger and Liz Gillespie, along with PGIM’s Kevin Smith
200 ACRES OF FL INDUSTRIAL TRADES IN THREE PHASES
In one of the area’s biggest industrial trades last year, JP Morgan
bought the South Florida Logistics Center from Florida East Coast
Industries and its Flagler Global Logistics subsidiary in a deal valued at $233 million.
CBRE advised the sellers. Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s Brian
Diamond, Ira Teicher, Nicholas Richard and Sam Rezvani
represented JP Morgan Asset Management, which made the investment
on behalf of several pension funds. According to the legal team, the
deal required very creative solutions to complex legal challenges due
to the existence of various stakeholders and unique environmental
aspects, such as pipeline easements and the airport’s rights.
The 200-acre park sits near Miami International Airport and
consists of three phases. The sales of phase one—five industrial
buildings totaling 867,343 sf, leased to tenants including Amazon
and Goodyear—and phase two—a 162,837-sf facility—closed in
September and December, respectively, totaling an aggregate $209
million. The third phase, consisting of three buildings currently
under way, will be officially under JP Morgan’s ownership upon
their completion later this year.
RETAIL BILLIONAIRE MAKES MAJOR MIAMI OFFICE BUY
When Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega—the owner of the
Zara retail chain with a net worth of over $70 billion—set his eyes
on downtown Miami’s iconic Southeast Financial Center, he
hired CBRE Inc. to advise his company on what would become
the largest single-asset transaction in Miami to date. Tim Gifford
of CBRE’s Latin America Capital Advisors group, was chosen to
represent the investor’s company, Ponte Gadea, in the $516.6-bil-
JPMorgan Chase & Co. sold the asset, advised by HFF. At 1. 2
million sf in a 55-story office tower and a 15-story annex building,
the property, located at 200 S. Biscayne Blvd. in Downtown Miami,
is believed to be the largest office building in Miami.
MCDONALD’S ORDERS A SUPERSIZED CHICAGO LEASE
McDonald’s Corp. last year revealed plans to shift its global headquarters from suburban Oak Brook to Downtown Chicago by the
spring of 2018. In the long-awaited move, a lease was signed at
Sterling Bay’s Fulton Market redevelopment project at the site of
the former HARPO Studios, in the West Loop neighborhood.
McDonald’s left Chicago for Oak Brook in 1971, but now joins a
long line of corporate giants, including ConAgra, Motorola
Solutions, and many others, that have migrated to the CBD in
search of younger workers that don’t find suburban life very
appealing. The global fast food company will occupy all 500,000 sf
of the office space, and may take some ground-floor retail, at the
nine-story, two-structure project.
A TRIPLE PLAY FOR CNA
Longtime Chicago resident CNA Financial Corp. signing a 275,000-
sf anchor-tenant lease for the John Buck Co.’s new office building
at 151 N. Franklin St. was the culmination of a complex, multi-transaction deal valued at $683.3 million. A triple-play of leasing,