While helping Natural Capital get into the affordable housing market, Cushman & Wakefield/Sage Partners also brokered an $8.54 million sale of Little Rock’s Colony West Shopping Center in late January.
Sage’s Jason Parker brokered the deal for the 90,000-SF retail development at Rodney Parham Road and Interstate 430, which includes a Kroger supermarket, a Simmons Bank branch, a Senor Tequila’s restaurant and Trek Bikes. Parker was recently in the news as Amazon’s broker for its massive new distribution center project at the Port of Little Rock and its earlier 14,700-SF distribution operation in North Little Rock.
The shopping center seller was Colony West Group LLC and C-Lef Partners, both led by T.J. Lefler of Rogers. Lefler, other Sage investors and a few silent partners bought Colony West for $7.1 million in 2016. After steadily raising occupancy from 85% to 100%, Lefler and his partners were able to take a tidy profit on the $8.5 million sale Jan. 29 to Midland Atlantic Properties of Cincinnati.
Lefler said he and his partners “took pride in improving this key shopping center in the heart of Little Rock.” As for the timing, he said he would have been content to keep the center, “but we had increased the net operating income so much that it was a good time to sell with fresh leases and major tenants. But we thought we could make a nice profit with those leases in place by selling it now.”
Midland Atlantic favors shopping centers anchored by Kroger stores, Lefler said. “They have a good relationship with Kroger, they already own these kinds of properties, and they were well capitalized,” he said. “That’s why we went with Midland Atlantic at the end of the day.”
Having Kroger as an anchor during the COVID-19 pandemic was a huge asset for Colony West, Parker said, an essential draw for other tenants as residents emerged from their homes to get food. “You know, grocery was one of the industries that were just on fire in 2020 during the pandemic,” Parker said. “It was just a strong draw for the center, and in support of the other tenants.”