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Oct. 19 - North Avenue Capital Closes $16.8 Million Deal in Rural Georgia and Arkansas

Brunswick Business Journal Staff Report

October 19, 2018 - North Avenue Capital (NAC) has closed two commercial real estate transactions, both funded with USDA Rural Development Business & Industry loans. In Waycross, Georgia, $7.3 million was secured for the acquisition of a 51,548 sf multi-tenant commercial center anchored by Enhanced Resource Corporation (ERC). In Paragould, Arkansas, a $9.5 million loan was secured to purchase a 579,015 sf single-tenant industrial facility occupied by LA Darling (LAD). LAD has leased the facility for over 50 years and is owned by a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

Speaking of both projects, NAC President, Eric Johnson, stated "each of these properties is centrally located in its respective community, providing meaningful economic support to skilled workers choosing to live outside of large cities." He added that the tenants are making the strategic decision to keep well-paying, long-term jobs for Americans living in rural areas.

The largest tenant in Waycross, ERC, is an international provider of customer management, business process outsourcing, and accounts receivable management services to Fortune 500 companies. Since moving into the space in 2009, ERC has invested over $1.5 million to build out their 340-agent capacity, indicative of their long-term commitment to Waycross. Other tenants include Surchero's Fresh Grill, AppleCare, Bone & Joint Institute, and Southeastern Credit Union.

The property in Paragould sits on over 30 acres and was originally constructed in 1966, with renovations completed in 1990. The single tenant, LAD, generates annual revenues of $384 million by producing wood and metal store fixtures and point-of-purchase displays for larger retailers, including Walmart and Best Buy. Johnson emphasized that these long-term loans provide an affordable level of stability that incentives companies to keep higher paying jobs in rural communities.

According to NAC Chief Executive, Ben Chatraw, "the Waycross and Paragould projects are great examples of how the USDA is working alongside lenders and business owners to revitalize and reinforce the presence of commercial and professional operations in rural parts of the country."


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