August 03, 2015

Boyle Invests with Belz

By:  Tom Bailey, Jr.
Commercial Appeal
Boyle Investment Company’s new real estate investment fund has paid about $14 million for majority ownership in Belz Investment Company’s Germantown Village Square shopping center.
The 200,000-square-foot, open-air mall occupies one of the choice retail corners in the Memphis area, at Poplar and Germantown Road in Germantown.
The deal, announced Thursday, makes partners of, for the first time, two venerable companies in Memphis commercial real estate: Belz Enterprises and Boyle Investment.
“We are extremely excited about this acquisition,” Bayard Boyle Jr., chairman of Boyle Investment, said in a written statement. “Though we have had a wonderful relationship with Belz for many years, this is our first joint venture. They are superb organization and have for many decades been Memphis’ largest investment property owner and developer, as well as one of Memphis’ leading corporate citizens.”
The two companies will work well together because they share a “cautious and meticulous investment philosophy,” Boyle said.
Ron Belz, president and chief operating officer of Belz, said in writing, “We have the greatest respect for the Boyle organization and have worked with them over the years on community affairs and industry related matters.
“Our companies are alike in many ways and I believe our individual strengths and experience will provide great synergy.”
Boyle Investment declined to reveal what percentage of the mall it purchased, but it’s significantly more than half, said Mark Halperin, executive vice president.
Boyle Investment will take over management and handle leasing for the space, which includes 140,000 square feet of retail and 60,000 square feet of office.
The retail is 100 percent occupied and the office is 70 percent leased, Halperin said.
On Monday, Boyle will start strategy and brainstorming sessions for improving Germantown Village Square, Halperin said.
“It’s a great location, a great center,” he said. “Belz has taken great care of it.”
Germantown Village Square opened in 1973 as an enclosed mall. The development was converted to an open-air center in 1985.
Major retailers in the three buildings are TJ Maxx, Pier One, Office Max, Petco, Design Shoe Warehouse (DSW) and McAlister’s.
Office users include Methodist Healthcare and Crye-Leike.
Boyle Investment recently established its Midsouth Capital Fund I with initial equity of $32 million to look for such investment opportunities in real estate.
Germantown Village Square is its first purchase in the Memphis area. The fund made its initial purchase in November near Nashville, where it bought a 43,000-square-foot office building in Goodlettsville.
Boyle’s goal for Midsouth Capital Fund I is to increase the equity capital to $40 million. Company executives said additional investors from Memphis and across Tennessee should come aboard in the next few months with minimum equity commitments of $1 million each.
The fund plans to target $80 million to $100 million in real estate deals as the capital level grows.