BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (August 17) — The Industrial Development Board of the City of Dresden met in a special session Monday, August 17, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. via conference call and YouTube Live, pursuant to an electronic meetings provision allowed by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the potential sale of the former Quebecor building at 2073 Evergreen St.
City Recorder/Secretary-Treasurer Jennifer Branscum gave the financial report for the board, showing a checking account balance of $191,980.35 as of July 31, 2020.
Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn reported Phoenix Investors reached an agreement with Frog Properties/Calpaco to purchase the assets and the building located at 2073 Evergreen St. in Dresden. He stated the Industrial Board owns the land the building is placed on. Phoenix Investors is interested in purchasing the land, in addition to Frog Properties’ assets and building to obtain a fee simple title to the entire property.
Phoenix Investors is a national commercial real estate firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, whose core business is the revitalization of former manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. This strategy leads to positively transforming communities and restarting the economic engine in the communities they serve.
Phoenix Investors principally specializes in the renovation and repositioning of large, former single tenant industrial facilities throughout the United States that were previously owned by major corporate clients, REITs or financial institutions.
Washburn stated the property in question is located between Old Highway 22 and the railroad tracks in the Dresden Industrial Park.
Phoenix Investors is interested in obtaining the full 99-acre tract. The city will survey the tract to exclude Dresden’s sewage lagoon.
Washburn explained, “The City of Dresden has a sewage lagoon on the east end of this property and would wish to retain title to this land in order to provide sewer service to this plan and other industrial sites we have out there. I’m sure they would not want to assume the liabilities and obligations of the sewage lagoons.”
He further stated Dresden needs an egress and ingress utility easement for water and sewer lines. All taxes will be paid to date at the time of the sale.
Frog Properties/Calpaco has paid a lease payment on the land of $3,600 per year. There are approximately 55 years remaining on the lease.
“Their plan is to modernize it and renovate it where it’s needed,” Washburn said. “They plan to extend the lease with Champion Homes, which continues through 2028. Upon obtaining the lease they would also seek to enter into leases with other companies. They have been speaking with MTD to use the site for additional space for extra warehousing, and maybe other companies in the area that would need warehousing.”
Phoenix Investors representative Robert Kriewaldt agreed.
“There may be some utility lines buried on that property to the sewage lagoon as well,” Washburn said.
An average sale price, as determined by Comptroller of the Treasury Division of Property Assessments, is $7,500 to $10,000 per acre. Weakley County Economic Development Director Shelby Spurgeon stated there is industrial land for sale in Greenfield at a price of $6,000 per acre. She added Dresden’s Pad Ready Site is proposed at $4,000 per acre. Phoenix Investors said it is looking at a $3,000 range per acre.
Phoenix Investors stated the purchase price for the leasehold is $3.5 to $4 million.
During discussion, Jimmy Westbrook stated the price of the property needs to be researched.
Chairman Junior Moore appointed Colin Johnson and Spurgeon to gather comparable sale prices for industrial land.
Johnson made a motion to recess until Monday, August 24, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. to gather information and discuss this proposal further.