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E. Memphis office building sells for double its price a decade ago

Thomas Bailey Jr. 
The Commercial Appeal

An East Memphis office and commercial building has sold for $8.6 million, more than double what it changed hands for a decade ago.

Nashville-based Priam Capital purchased the 60,046-square-foot Grove Park Center at 4515 Poplar from GPCTN Investment Co. LLC.

The 58-year-old building underwent a major renovation in 2009, and is 96 percent occupied with financial, medical and retail tenants.

Grove Park Center stands in front of Oak Court Mall, and across the street from Laurelwood Shopping Center.

The building is also across Poplar Avenue from the futue Poplar Commons, the retail center that will be anchored by a Nordstrom Rack. Seritage Growth Properties will raze the now-closed Sears store and auto service center to make room for the new retail development.

"Positioned well'' is how Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors described Grove Park Center's geography in a statement about the sale. The commercial real estate firm will manage the building for the new owner.

Jimmy Beard, acquisitions associate for Priam, said his company was attracted to the building for several reasons.

"It is 96 percent occupied, and within the last five years, the seller completed a multi-million dollar renovation to modernize the building,'' Beard said in a written response to questions.

"In addition, its location at Poplar Avenue and Grove Park put it at one of the most desirable locations in the East Memphis market,'' Beard said. 

Former building owner Robert M. Rogers of RMR Investment Co., who bought the building in 2005 for $3.5 million, carried out a complete make-over of the five-story structure.

Designed by architects Charles Shipp and Keith Kays, the renovation changed the building's facade from repetitive, rectangular windows with columns to show a variety of shapes, colors, materials and texture.

The front features a buff colonnade of Indiana limestone and copper shingles.

The renovation included installation of new heating and air-conditioning systems, lighting, ceilings, bathrooms and refurbished elevators.

The structure was built as a one-story building in 1958. Four stories were added in 1960 and three floors were added to the rear in the early 1960s.

All the construction and renovation share something in common.

"'The original building was built by my grandfather, Ed Grinder, in 1958 and he also built the four-story addition in 1960 as well as the three floors added to the rear in the early 1960s,'' said Brett Grinder, vice president of Grinder, Taber & Grinder.

"And then Grinder, Taber & Grinder completed all of the renovations and tenant build-outs for Mr. Rogers over the past decade,'' Griner said. "So the owners of the building have used Grinder in some capacity continuously for the lifetime of the building.''

Among Grove Park Center's tenants are Paragon National Bank, Memphis Orthopaedic Group, Farm Bureau, Darrell Castle & Associates, Crislip, Philip and Associates law firm, Hope Christian Community Foundation, EBCO, State Farm, Passport Health, Joby and Lowery's Jewelry.

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