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Assembling the Power of Real Estate

Assembling the Power of Real Estate

Assembling properties for larger commercial developments can be “like herding cats,” says Eric Fuhrman , president and managing broker of Crye-Leike Commercial.

But even though the process is more complex than a common real estate deal, the benefits are many, he says — both for Memphis neighborhood resurgences and for the property owners.

Fuhrman, a Chicago native who moved to Memphis in 2004 to be closer to his wife’s family, says his eyes were “opened” to the need for more property assembly projects when he worked to assemble the parcels for the 2008 development of the 255-bed student housing complex The Stratum on Highland near the University of Memphis. That complex recently sold for $13 million.

And more recently, Fuhrman and Steve Woodyard  worked together to assemble six properties for The Standard, a seven-story, 395-bed student housing tower planned for the southwest corner of Mynders and Brister between The Stratum and the U of M campus.

That deal just closed, clearing the way for Frankfurt, Kentucky-based developer Will Crumbaugh  to begin work on the project. His Memphis Student Housing LLC bought the parcels, which are spread over a little more than an acre, at 3549, 3557, 3561, 3567 and 3571 on Mynders and 525 Brister.

“I looked at it and said, ‘I can’t get you what you want in this market,’ Fuhrman says of his initial response to the property owner who contacted him about selling. “Then, we thought, maybe we could get some of the neighbors together and put together something rare.”

And that’s what they did, despite the headaches of communicating with multiple owners, navigating the rezoning and University Overlay approval process and closing the deal.

“Both were a handful,” Fuhrman says, but he adds that a willing developer — like in the case of The Standard — made the process easier.

Property assemblies are nothing new and are required for nearly all larger commercial infill projects. But Fuhrman says assemblies are often not considered, even though they’re a way for owners to add value to their properties and open up desirable land for development in high-demand areas like near the U of M, where large tracts of land are hard to find.

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