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Hart Procures 'Needle in Haystack' Buyer for Charleston, SC Facility

 

Background


Hart Group International affiliate Carolina Commercial, LLC (then NAI Batten & Moore) was originally appointed as agent to sell an 849,850 square foot specialized distribution facility in Charleston, SC on behalf of the seller, ARC/Mikasa. Mikasa, a company based in France, was widely recognized as one of the world’s premier manufacturers of a wide range of table top items sold under various major brand names. Mikasa had previously marketed surplus land through the efforts of the Carolina Commercial offices which sold for $15,000,000.

Initially Carolina Commercial, LLC handled the marketing efforts for the distribution facility and quickly recommended that Hart Corporation be brought in to participate directly in the marketing of the property. Hart’s ability to cast a wider net, targeting potential prospects outside the immediate area with its comprehensive national and international coverage was key to procuring a qualified buyer.

Process


Together, Carolina Commercial and Hart undertook an extensive marketing program, including the creation of a dedicated marketing website. They left no stone unturned, focusing on port users, the Council of Logistics Management, SIOR and CCIM members and our Hart Group International affiliates worldwide.

Challenges


The mission was evident: given the highly specialized nature of the DC and the limited number of companies worldwide that would be the perfect fit, Hart had to effectively identify and procure the perfect buyer. They sought a purchaser that could utilize the climate controlled facility, along with the 66,000 square feet of class “A” office space. The building featured a 75’ clear high bay racking area which supported a significant portion of the roof, as well as extensive computer operated material handling equipment. Since this property was so specialized the ideal user was, in essence, a needle-in-a-haystack type buyer.

Because the vast majority of initial prospects were investors, consideration was given to retrofitting the building in order to make a more generic warehouse space. The costs for such retrofitting were significant and would have greatly reduced the selling price.

Results


The buyer, Gildan Activewear, turned out to be the ideal user for the building. Gildan, a Canadian-based company, was attracted to the location because of the proximity to the Charleston Port, the quality of the building and appeal of its physical attributes. The facility’s racking and sortation equipment was a near-perfect match for the distribution of their casual wear products, which would be coming in from its off-shore production facilities.

The Hart Group International affiliate team of Charlie Moore, CCIM SIOR and Dan Batten, SIOR, of NAI Batten & Moore, worked closely with the Hart Corporation team of Jim Belcher, SIOR and Tommy Turner, SIOR, in dealing with negotiations between the seller in France and the buyer in Canada. The match of local expertise, valuable relationships with local and state governments, along with Hart’s marketing efforts, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, created a milestone transaction that included numerous conference calls across many time zones to bring the transaction to a successful conclusion.

Negotiations were intense and detailed with the Hart team competently managing the process. Creativity and persistence were the hallmarks of the team’s effort. A bankruptcy filing by the seller first appeared to be a serious impediment to the sale. Ultimately, the bankruptcy issues were resolved, permitting the sale of the property to close in a timely manner.

Conclusions


This transaction is just another example of how Hart Group International brings together the best professionals in the industry to achieve the ultimate objective of Hart Corporation and Hart Group International: to meet and exceed the client’s goals and expectations.