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$10 million in corporate welfare for mall developer

The controversial Highlands Development in Bristol is up for sale, or at least 30 acres of it, about a year after it was completed in 2007. Originally mired in costly lawsuits over annexation between Bristol, Virginia and Washington County (costing $2 million), the scene (before relocated to its present location) of a mass eviction of poor people, and given $10 million in corporate welfare by Washington County, may net the developer $25.2 million. The citizens of Bristol, Virginia and Washington County got screwed in the process.

(Let me note the developer did nothing improper, it was our corrupt public officials behind this whole sorry saga.) One Washington County supervisor asked just what these jobs (an absurd claim of 2000) was supposed to pay in this development. We never got an answer. This strip mall includes stores such as Bed Bath &

Beyond, Best Buy, Books-A-Million, Pet Smart, Ross and T.J. Maxx. (The Target store isn't included in the sale.) A nearly identical strip mall in Sullivan County, Tennessee (about 25 miles away) received only spent $2.5 million in corporate welfare. I hope somebody buys a lot of cats at Pet Smart because the Washington County taxpayers really got "skinned" in this deal.


Property Use Type:	Investment
Type:	Shopping Center
Power Center
GLA:	165,345 SF
Lot Size:	29.80 Acres
Occupancy:	100.00%
Price:	$25,211,000
Price/SF:	$152.48
Cap Rate:	7.00%
Year Built:	2007
Net Lease Investment:	Yes
Years left on Lease:	10+
Date Last Verified:	6/19/2008
Net Operating Income:	$1,764,770

Property Description:

This retail center offers an exciting opportunity to acquire an attractive power center investment shadow-anchored by Target. The property features long-term leases to national, credit tenants such as Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, T.J. Maxx, Ross and PetSmart, providing the benefits of tenant diversification, while requiring minimal management.

Furthermore, the property lies adjacent to an interstate highway in a prominent retail corridor, with such neighbors as The Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Lowe's, Tractor Supply Co. and Office Depot. With this asset, an investor will capitalize on both real estate appreciation and scheduled increases in income.

Location Description:

The property is located in southwest Virginia approximately five miles northeast of central Bristol and adjacent to Interstate 81. With its wide variety of large retailers, the Bristol trade area draws from 12 counties, adding over 244,000 people to the region's population of nearly 560,000.

Furthermore, residents of the three Tennessee cities within the region (Kingsport, Johnson City and Bristol), travel to Bristol, Virginia, to shop because Virginia's sales tax rate, at 5%, is nearly one-half the 9.5% charged in Tennessee.

Exit 7 off of I-81, where there is an average annual daily traffic count of 50,000, is one-half mile from the property. Adjacent to the property are The Home Depot, Dollar Tree, IHOP and Microtel.

On the opposite side of Old Airport Road, where Exit 7 is, are a Wal-Mart Supercenter, Sam's Club, Office Depot, Lowe's, Tractor Supply Co., Food City, CineMark, Marriott, Holiday Inn, Blockbuster, Verizon, Ruby Tuesday, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Chili's and O'Charley's. Cracker Barrel, Sonic and LaQuinta are on the opposite side of I-81.


Washington County breaks ground for new 43-acre retail shopping area

Washington County officials break ground for The Highlands, a 43-acre shopping complex under construction near Exit 7 of I-81. Washington County broke ground Sept. 18 for a new 43-acre shopping complex to be called The Highlands. Located at Exit 7 of I-81, retailers T.J. Maxx, Books-A-Million, World Market and PetSmart are among the first announced tenants who plan to open in summer 2007.

A joint venture between Newton Oldacre McDonald and local entrepreneur Mack Trammel, the 325,000 square-foot center will serve the retail needs of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. The Highlands will contain more than 295,000 square feet of retail space and Newton Oldacre McDonald is presently in discussions with a number of national retailers who find the location attractive because of its proximity to a vast underserved market.

In addition to retail space, the site will also provide opportunity for freestanding restaurants and other retail on out parcels of the property.