Charlotte Plays in Site-Selection Majors
Vision Equities and CarVal Investors, which acquired Coliseum Centre last year in what the WSJ calleda risky play, sold another piece of it. Four Coliseum Centre went for $39M. Buyer Griffin Capital Corp of California liked the fact that United Technologies occupies the whole thing.
Vision Equities COO Fred Arena (right, with managing partner Sam Morreale) tells us that although the sale to Griffin Capital shows investors have a strong appetite for core assets with credit tenants,he believes the underlying importance of the deal is that major corporate tenants are now seeing Charlotte as a viable market for relocation. (No longer is Charlotte just a place you go to see the birthplace of astronaut Charlie Duke.) United Tech came to the market when it purchased building tenant Goodrich Corp, then decided to move its aerospace-systems HQ to the building.
Its more important than ever for site selection to be based not only on economics, but also by selecting markets with a diverse and educated work force, and which offer employees a good quality of life, Fred says. Finding both in the same place is a bit of a tall order. Charlotte checks those boxes, he adds, but he also warns that the area has to maintain lower taxes and utility rates to keep its site-selection competitiveness.