Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 31, 2021

Briefs: Sonic adds delivery center in Chattanooga

Sonic Automotive Inc. has opened its new EchoPark delivery center in Chattanooga.

Sonic is a Fortune 500 Company and one of the nation’s largest automotive retailers.

Located near the Georgia border, the Chattanooga Delivery Center is EchoPark’s third location in Tennessee, following the opening of the Knoxville delivery center and Nashville retail sales center in 2020. The new Chattanooga delivery center is also EchoPark’s 35th location to date, continuing the brand’s expansion toward a nationwide distribution network that is expected to reach 90% of the U.S. population and generate $14 billion in revenues by 2025.

“Our new delivery center in Chattanooga is an important part of EchoPark’s ongoing growth strategy, and further enhances our expanding regional and national footprint,” says David Smith, CEO of Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive. “With three strategic locations in Tennessee, guests have multiple options to experience the EchoPark difference no matter where they live in the region.”

Guests are able to take delivery in person at the Chattanooga location after conveniently shopping online at EchoPark.com and choosing from over 10,000 high quality, one- to four-year-old preowned vehicles priced up to $3,000 below market, with clean CarFax reports, most of which are still under original factory warranty. Upon arrival, guests work with an EchoPark Experience Guide, who will help answer any questions and finalize all vehicle purchase details before quickly getting them on their way home with their new purchase.

Following its 2014 launch, EchoPark Automotive has rapidly become one of the preowned automotive retail industry’s most prominent success stories.

One Riverside sold to Capital Square

Capital Square 1031 has acquired One Riverside, a 280-unit multifamily community in Chattanooga.

Capital Square is a leading sponsor of Delaware statutory trust offerings for Section 1031 exchange and other accredited investors.

CS1031 One Riverside Apartments, DST seeks to raise $45.34 million in equity from accredited investors and has a minimum investment requirement of $50,000.

This is Capital Square’s fifth acquisition of a multifamily community in Chattanooga, creating management efficiencies and economies of scale.

“Chattanooga is a gem of a city with the feel of Austin or Nashville before they took off,” says Louis Rogers, founder and chief executive officer of Capital Square. “The combination of natural beauty and economic opportunity is unrivaled in the region.”

Located at 950 Riverside Drive, the 280-unit community features one- and two-bedroom units situated on 17.7 acres of land. One Riverside is located approximately 2 miles from downtown Chattanooga and offers residents convenient access to numerous employers and community points of interest.

Nearby attractions include the Tennessee Riverwalk, a 16-mile hike-and-bike trail that connects the property to downtown Chattanooga, the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, the Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art. The community is also near AT&T Field, home of the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Double-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.

“One Riverside is ideally located in the Chattanooga East submarket, providing residents with convenient access to numerous employers and community points of interest,” says Whitson Huffman, chief strategy and investment officer. “The property’s submarket has high barriers to entry with only one other property under construction within a three-mile radius. This premier location coupled with high-end amenities makes this property an exceptional addition to our portfolio of multifamily DST properties.”

Amenities at the gated community include a clubhouse with resident lounges, a gaming area, clubhouse kitchen, business center, coffee bar and meeting rooms. Additional amenities include a fitness center with digital on-demand and weekly on-site classes, a yoga studio, outdoor grilling stations, package delivery lockers, a saltwater pool with tanning ledge, a pet spa, kayak storage and an outdoor covered patio with fireplace.

CBL Properties portfolio grows

CBL Properties, headquartered in Chattanooga, has announced that more than 1.7 million square feet of new retail, dining, entertainment, and other uses have opened across its portfolio since January.

“Over the past year, CBL’s team has elevated our properties by combining retail, dining, and entertainment along with a variety of other mixed uses,” says Stephen Lebovitz, chief executive officer, CBL Properties. “Traffic levels have rebounded over the last several months and double-digit portfolio sales increases have continued, leading to growing demand for space in our properties. We’re thrilled to celebrate the addition of so many new stores.”

New openings across the CBL portfolio include unique uses such as Hollywood Casino at York Galleria Mall in York, Pennsylvania; the expansion of High Caliber Karting & Entertainment at Meridian Mall in Okemos, Michigan; Aloft by Marriott hotel and Trader Joe’s at Hamilton Place in Chattanooga; Tilt at Richland Mall in Waco, Texas; and the first Belong Gaming location in the United States at Pearland Town Center in Pearland, Texas.

CBL also welcomed OFFLINE by Aerie to Fayette Mall in Lexington, Kentucky; Pottery Barn at Friendly Center in Greensboro, North Carolina; and Tradehome Shoes at both Oak Park Mall in Kansas City, Kansas and Post Oak Mall in College Station, Texas.

In addition to the many well-known national brands that opened their doors at CBL malls this year, demand among local and regional tenants has also increased. “We have added a number of unique local tenants to our portfolio over the last year, including BLCK Market at Pearland Town Center and Sports Center at Fayette Mall,” Lebovitz adds.

In 2022, Von Maur will open at West Towne Mall in Madison, Wisconsin; OFFLINE by Aerie, Rose & Remington and Palmetto Moon at Hamilton Place; Main Event at Sunrise Mall in Brownsville, Texas; and a new and expanded Scheels at Dakota Square Mall in Minot, North Dakota.

5 Points Northshore Apartments sold

San Francisco-based real estate firm Hamilton Zanze has acquired the 190-unit 5 Points Northshore Apartments in Chattanooga.

The Kirkland Company represented the seller on this transaction. This represents HZ’s eighth acquisition in Tennessee.

HZ’s capital improvements will include site improvements, building repairs, amenity enhancements and mechanical, electrical and plumbing updates. Management of the property has also been transitioned to HZ affiliate Mission Rock Residential, a Denver-based company.

The property, built in 2019, is located just north of Downtown Chattanooga, which is situated at the bend in the Tennessee River at the Juncture of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

The 2019-vintage property is rich with resident amenities such as this full-service gym, an outdoor lounge and kitchen, resort-style pool, pet spa and park and a clubroom with billiards tables and TVs.

“5 Points Northshore presented a great opportunity to buy a Class A asset in Chattanooga, Tennessee” says David Nelson, Hamilton Zanze’s chief transactions officer. “The property features a top-of-the-line amenity package, a prime location within walking distance to many attractions, and offers residents the quality of life provided by the city’s energetic core. As this is our second acquisition in Chattanooga, we’re very excited to continue to watch the region’s growth.”

The community is located at 328 Cherokee Blvd in the desirable North Chattanooga submarket, approximately five-minute drive or 2.5 miles from Downtown Chattanooga. The 190 residential units average 826 square feet with 37 different floor plans. Community amenities include an outdoor lounge and kitchen, resort-style pool, pet spa and park and a clubroom with billiards tables and TVs. Unit amenities include gourmet kitchens, in-unit washers and dryers, private balconies and patios, walk-in closets and tile bathrooms.

Tennessee’s GDP grew 5.6% in 2021

The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee reports the state’s inflation-adjusted gross domestic product grew 5.6% in 2021.

Real GDP is projected to continue growing in 2022 at 4.2%.

Consumers are spending more confidently due to a third round of federal stimulus checks and the distribution of effective COVID-19 vaccines, which led to the return of in-person services for many consumers.

The report includes a deep dive into the employment recovery in Tennessee and examines how the recovery differs by age, race, gender, marital status and education, as well as by industrial sectors and geographic area. The state’s labor force participation rate, which sat at 61.8% before the pandemic, is projected to reach only 60.9% in 2022 and inch up to 61.4% in 2023. There is no single explanation for the slower labor market recovery, but many Tennesseans have reflected on their work–life balance since the pandemic began, and some have decided to switch jobs while others may not be as quick to reenter the labor force for various reasons.

As of October 2021, the labor force among people aged 55 or older has decreased by nearly 55% nationwide since the beginning of the pandemic. Only the 35–44 age group has returned to prepandemic levels. There are still about 1 million fewer people aged 20–34 in the labor force, and another 800,000 fewer people aged 45–54.

Tennessee in top 3 for dealmaking

Tennessee, Virginia and Massachusetts have been named winners of the Business Facilities’ 2021 States of the Year awards, the first time three winners have been named.

Tennessee was named the state with the Best Dealmaking, Virginia the state with the Overall Best Business Climate, and Massachusetts the state with the Best Workforce/Educational System. The three jurisdictions will be highlighted in the January/February issue of Business Facilities.

“For the first time, we thought it was appropriate to name three winners in this prestigious process,” says BF Editorial Director Seth Mendelson. “As businesses look to expand or relocate, the questions they have about communities are becoming more complex. They want to know as much as they can about a community before making a final decision. We think this is going to help them make informed choices.”

Tennessee was selected as the Best Dealmaker thanks to recent deals with such companies as Ford (6,000 jobs), Smith & Wesson (750), Chewy Inc. (1,200), Thermo Fisher Scientific (1,400) and an Amazon corporate headquarters in Nashville (5,000), among others.

In addition, the Global Business Alliance recently noted that Tennessee was second to only Minnesota in the growth of jobs from foreign-based employers, growing by 33.4% over the last five years. The state is now home to more than 860 global companies operating plants, offices and other facilities.

UTIA highlights agriculture uptick in TN

Researchers from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture outline gains in all major agricultural sectors in this year’s economic report to the governor.

The report showed a marked improvement from the previous fiscal year that reflected depressed global demand for U.S. exports tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued trade tensions.

Tennessee’s agri-forestry industrial complex encompasses the supply chain from farm and forest to the manufacturer and is a vital part of the state’s economy. Accounting for multiplier effects, the complex provides an estimated $79.3 billion to Tennessee’s economy and accounts for 339,400 jobs.

Farm receipts in the state totaled $3.6 billion, with approximately 65.5% of this value coming from crops and 34.5% from animals and animal products.

In terms of harvested acreage, Tennessee’s four largest row crops include soybeans (1.47 million acres, down 9% from 2020); corn (970,000 acres, up 18%); wheat (330,000 acres, up 43%); and cotton (270,000 acres, down 4%).