Gibson Guitar building sold

Gibson Brands Inc. has sold its iconic factory building Downtown. Real estate investment firms Somera Road Inc. of New York and Tricera Capital of Miami teamed up to purchase the property, according to a Tuesday news release. The release did not disclose a purchase price but said the transaction includes much of Gibson’s real estate in Memphis and Nashville. In a separate transaction, the firms paid $6.4 million for a half-acre property at 1102 Grundy St. in Nashville in November. The Memphis part of the purchase includes the 150,000-square-foot Gibson factory and showroom and the 350-space parking lot located across Linden Avenue on Pontotoc Avenue. The sale is expected to close on Dec. 13 “We’re especially interested in markets with a growing and buzzing millennial population, and we continue to invest in those urban cores,” said Tricera co-founder Scott Sherman in the release. “Memphis checked all of the boxes we look for in new markets. With the continuously growing Downtown population, we are eager to use this transaction to open the door to additional opportunities. “While other ‘millennial’ markets such as Nashville and Austin are experiencing saturation and pricing out many potential relocators, Memphis is owning its sweet spot with real estate occupancy costs and the costs of living at attractive rates.” Before the deal closes, the Center City Revenue Finance Corporation (CCRFC) is set to decide Dec.12 whether or not Gibson’s 25-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement, effective through 2023, can be transferred to the investors. Along with the transfer, the investors are asking for the PILOT’s employment requirement to be eliminated, according to a letter written by Bass, Berry & Sims lawyer Richard Spore III, who is representing the investors. The investors are also requesting for permission to use the property for retail and offices, as well as for a potential brewery, according to that letter. Initially, Gibson will lease back the building from Tricera and Somera, while the investors decide what to do with the property. “Scott and I were aware of Memphis, but until we visited, we had no idea how unique this market is,” said Somera managing principal Ian Ross in the release. “The Gibson building is a prime location in the heart of Downtown Memphis, and it’s uniquely positioned at the epicenter of growth. We can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get to work.” The companies have hired Colliers International for property management and leasing services. Andy Cates and Andrew Phillips will be the local leasing representatives.