Atlanta firm pays $22 million for much of office park in Chattanooga's Brainerd area

Greenleaf Capital plans medical, government hub

An Atlanta company has acquired more than half of the sprawling Midtown Office Park in the Brainerd area, where the firm plans to create a medical and government hub.

Greenleaf Capital purchased nearly 280,000 square feet of the business and office center off Brainerd Road, which for many years was known as Osborne Office Park, from Chattanooga-based Urban Story Ventures, according to the companies.

Jimmy White, Urban Story Ventures' general partner and president, said Wednesday that Greenleaf bought all 10 of the single-level buildings in the 475,000-square-foot center for $22 million.

"It was a good deal for us and Greenleaf," he said in a telephone interview.

White said Urban Story Ventures, which bought the center in 2017, had a lot of leasing demand throughout the pandemic.

"We got most of [the buildings] leased up to 90% plus," he said. "We're developers. Once we get it stabilized, we're looking for an exit."

Nathan Etheridge of Greenleaf Capital said the company plans to invest nearly $4 million in renovating and improving the curb appeal of its buildings.

"A focus will be placed on increasing the number of medical and government tenants at the property, creating a hub for these business types with ample surface street parking, individual entrances, dedicated HVACs and direct connectivity to major Chattanooga transportation systems, hospitals and retail destinations," he said in an email.

Urban Story Ventures will continue providing property management, maintenance, leasing, landscaping and billing services for the multi-level structures it owns at the office park, including the Osborne, Franklin and Uptain buildings.

According to the company, a variety of businesses and organizations are tenants, including those in sectors such as transportation and logistics, government, financial, insurance, legal, medical and other professional services.

White recalled that when he was young, Brainerd was "the place to be."

"We've done a lot of facade improvements, mechanical systems," he said. "We'll still maintain what we have."

The office center is close to the Chattanooga Airport, a large population base and it is in proximity to the Chattanooga Volkswagen auto assembly plant and its 4,000 jobs.

Etheridge said Greenleaf's holdings in the office park represent the company's 11th asset to be acquired in the Chattanooga area, and Greenleaf intends to purchase more in the future.

He said Greenleaf officials like Brainerd's location near the intersection of Interstate 75 and Interstate 24. Etheridge said the property is surrounded by Walmart, Chick-filA, Starbucks and Eastgate Town Center, and the Greenleaf official liked Chattanooga's business and population growth.

White said Urban Story Ventures has a lot of new development in the pipeline at The Bend, the 121-acre former Alstom manufacturing site in downtown's west side.

Last year, the company wooed battery-materials maker Novonix, which plans to invest about $160 million and employ 300 workers as the latest addition to the site along the Tennessee River. White and Chattanooga hotel developer Hiran Desai bought the parcel from GE Power for $30 million in 2018.

Also last year, the pair of developers bought nearly 535 virgin acres in unincorporated Hamilton County on Walden's Ridge. They paid $5 million in December to buy the massive tract on Sawyer and Corral roads.

White said he expects the plan for the group's ridge tract will emerge over time. First, he said, they want to get community input on the parcel's "highest and best use."

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.