BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (August 24) — The Industrial Development Board of the City of Dresden met Monday, August 24, 2020, 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.
During the August 17 Industrial Board meeting, 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 where the building sits. He noted 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.
Industrial Board members spoke in favor of the sale but were uncertain what would be a fair price for the property.
Because estimates of the property’s value varied considerably, Jimmy Westbrook, Jr. stated the price of the property needs to be researched. Other board members agreed and Chairman Junior Moore appointed Colin Johnson and Weakley County Economic Development Director Shelby Spurgeon to gather comparable sale prices for industrial land. Johnson made a motion to recess until the following Monday to gather information and discuss this proposal further.
According to City Recorder/Secretary-Treasurer Jennifer Branscum, the purpose of the August 24 meeting was to discuss the possible sale of land at the site of the former Quebecor building, which is located southeast of the intersection of Arnold Road and Evergreen Street, between Old Highway 22 and the railroad tracks in the Dresden Industrial Park.
Originally, Phoenix Investors expressed interest in obtaining the entire 99-acre tract. However, since last Monday night’s meeting, Phoenix Investors reviewed all of the acreage and decided they only want to purchase the 40.6 acres the building is located on, and not the remainder of the 99-acre tract, because of the swampy soil and location of the lagoon.
During Monday night’s meeting, board members reviewed a proposal by Phoenix Acquisition, LLC, which offered to purchase the property for $3,000 per acre.
Johnson stated it is difficult to set a price for the land because there are no comparable properties in the area upon which to base a fair price.
Industrial Board members objected to a section of the proposal submitted by Phoenix, which stated the seller is responsible for: all transfer taxes, intangible taxes, preparation of the deed, seller’s counsel, the cost of all title insurance fees, an updated land survey, title company closing fees, and all costs relating to subdividing the land.
Mayor Washburn informed Phoenix Representative Anthony Crivello that, in Tennessee, it is customary for the buyer to pay these fees.
Board members also noted there are no brokerage fees involved, so this wording should be removed from the agreement.
Additionally, Mayor Washburn stated Phoenix needs to release the lease on the remaining land to the City of Dresden.
Crivello agreed to amend the proposal to remove these items, as stipulated by Dresden Industrial Board members.
The Dresden Industrial Board voted to tentatively approve the land sale, providing their objections to the original document are amended as requested. Those voting in favor of moving forward with the land sale were: Board Chairman Junior Moore, Larry Jolley, Ricky Finney, Colin Johnson, James Westbrook Jr., and Mark Maddox. There were no dissenting votes.
Phoenix Investors is a national commercial real estate firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its core business is the revitalization of former manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.
BY DAVID FISHER