Southside's Bread Factory Lofts sold

Southside's Bread Factory Lofts sold

June 27th, 2014 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

The Bread Factory Lofts are located on Cowart Street in downtown Chattanooga.

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One of the early residential projects in the rebirth of downtown Chattanooga's Southside has been sold by a local group to a Nebraska real estate business.

The Bread Factory Lofts apartments on Cowart Street were sold for $2.7 million to America First Real Estate Group of Omaha, said John Clark, one of the principals in the Chattanooga company that developed the complex.

"There was tremendous interest from buyers," Clark said about the 26-unit building. "We looked at several offers. We decided this was the best fit."

Chattanooga real estate broker Marcus Lyons, who put the deal together, said America First already is in the market with about 300 units.

He said that with the current market of relatively low interest rates and attractive terms to buyers, it makes sense for a lot of owners to cash in.

Lyons said many buyers have incentive to pay a little more today and hold for future upside down the road.

"Oftentimes for owners like John and his team that own a portfolio with numerous assets, it can actually become more difficult figuring out an exit strategy and finding a buyer that meets their expectations on value than it was actually creating the portfolio," he said.

Clark said Bread Factory Lofts was developed about a dozen years ago from an existing bakery structure, part of which goes back to the 1920 era.

Clark is also an owner in Walnut Commons, the 100-unit, $11 million apartment complex that was completed earlier this year at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way in downtown. In addition, Clark is a partner in The 300 building, where there are 112 units at Pine and Sixth streets.

Clark said Bread Factory and Walnut Commons are 100 percent rented, while The 300 is nearly full.

"There's good demand for rental space," he said. "We think there will be more brought on line in the next year or two."

Nashville-based Evergreen Real Estate and Chattanooga development Eugene "Buck" Schimpf have started what could be a $100 million housing and commercial development along the riverfront near the SpringHill Suites by Marriott. Some 235 midrise apartments are part of that project.

Earthmoving work has begun on the first phase of the development, which will include 20 single-family homes and 19 luxury townhomes.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.