Fairgrounds site sells

A fairgrounds-area property has sold for about $9.3 million — three times the amount at which it last changed ownership hands a mere four years ago — and its warehouse is slated for a major overhaul from a New York City company.

The address is 1414 Fourth Ave. S., with the property located within an opportunity zone and near Wedgewood-Houston. The buyer was commercial real estate firm Somera Road, which plans to convert the building to creative office and retail uses. According to a release, the project will be called WeHo Crossing and will eventually offer 60,000 square feet of office space and 12,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space. An early-2020 completion is eyed.

The seller was 4th Avenue South Ventures GP. The partnership acquired the roughly 4-acre property in January 2015 for about $2.9 million, according to Metro records.

Lance Bloom, a vice president with Colliers International Nashville, brokered the deal.

Grooms Engine Warehouse previously occupied the now-empty building, which spans about 115,000 square feet and opened in 1950.

The sale is the equivalent of about $80.40 per foot (based on the building’s size).

“As Nashville grows and becomes a prominent global business hub for the knowledge economy, we are seeing substantial demand increase for offices that provides unique and creative workspaces for the millennial employee set. WeHo is no doubt on the verge of becoming the next big neighborhood of Nashville,” Ian Ross, principal of Somera Road, said in the release, adding the site is near the future SoHo House, restaurants, apartments, condos and makerspaces.

“It’s exciting to watch this neighborhood grow right before our eyes and it’s hard to find a more rapidly developing ‘cool’ neighborhood across the country,” he added.

According to the release, Somera Road has enlisted Manuel Zeitlin Architects for design. Charlie Gibson, Cushman & Wakefield, will represent Somera Road on office leases, with Elam Freeman, Baker Storey McDonald Properties Inc., representing the company on retail leases.

Of note, Somera Road plans to update a Gulch property home to a former Gibson Guitar facility. The company will undertake a 45,000-square-foot mixed-use development at the Church Street site, which was the subject of legal action after Gibson decided to sell the property to a different New York investor. The remaining structure at the site was once home to Gibson’s Valley Arts brand (read here).

Somera Road previously acquired a nearby property, also from Gibson, at which it currently is retrofitting what had been a piano showroom so as to accommodate a bowling and arcade facility. The firm also owns two Gibson properties in Memphis, the result of what were the Nashville-based guitar company’s 2018 restructuring efforts. Nashville-based ESa is overseeing architectural work at the future bowling building, the address for which 1121 Church St.

The Somera Road Fourth Avenue South transaction represents the latest in various real estate moves involving properties located near The Fairgrounds Nashville (read herehere and here), Wedgewood-Houston and Chestnut Hill.

Established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, opportunity zones are tools designed to stimulate low-income and transitioning communities with private capital. The law provides a federal tax incentive for investors to re-invest their capital gains into so-called opportunity funds.

Originally published by the Nashville Post: https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/development/commercial-real-estate/article/21065663/fairgrounds-site-sells-for-triple-2015-price 

AUTHOR William Williams

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