North Avenue Capital, a specialized commercial lender based in Ponte Vedra, has announced the closing of two commercial real estate transactions funded with USDA Rural Development Business & Industry loans and totaling $16.8 million.
In Waycross, Georgia, $7.3 million was secured for the acquisition of a 51,548-square-foot, multi-tenant commercial center anchored by Enhanced Resource Corporation. In Paragould, Arkansas, a $9.5 million loan was secured to purchase a 579,015-square-foot, single-tenant industrial facility occupied by LA Darling, which has leased the facility for over 50 years and is owned by a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
“Each of these properties is centrally located in its respective community, providing meaningful economic support to skilled workers choosing to live outside of large cities,” North Avenue Capital President Eric Johnson said, adding that the tenants are making the strategic decision to keep well-paying, long-term jobs for Americans living in rural areas.
Enhanced Resource Corporation, the largest tenant in Waycross, is an international provider of customer management, business process outsourcing and accounts receivable management services to Fortune 500 companies. Since moving into the space in 2009, the company has invested over $1.5 million to build out its 340-agent capacity, indicative of its long-term commitment to Waycross. Other tenants include Surchero’s Fresh Grill, AppleCare, Bone & Joint Institute and Southeastern Credit Union.
The property in Paragould sits on more than 30 acres and was originally constructed in 1966, with renovations completed in 1990. The single tenant, LA Darling, generates annual revenues of $384 million by producing wood and metal store fixtures and point-of-purchase displays for larger retailers, including Walmart and Best Buy. Johnson emphasized that these long-term loans provide an affordable level of stability that provides an incentive for companies to keep higher paying jobs in rural communities.
North Avenue Capital CEO Ben Chatraw added, “The Waycross and Paragould projects are great examples of how the USDA is working alongside lenders and business owners to revitalize and reinforce the presence of commercial and professional operations in rural parts of the country.”