EDMOND — Nearly a decade after Charles Ballenger started helping turn 15th and Bryant into a destination, he is taking his exit from Spring Creek Village.
Ballenger Bros. LLC sold the shopping and business center for $18.5 million to a local investor. Broker Jason Little, who handled the sale for the seller, said the buyer declined to be identified. Ballenger said it was a “quality” investor. The Oklahoman could not confirm the buyer late Friday.
The sale price set records, said Little, a broker with CB Richard Ellis-Oklahoma.
The price of $263.54 per square foot for the 70,199-square-foot “lifestyle-oriented neighborhood center” was “the highest price per square foot ever paid in state history for a multitenant shopping center of any kind in excess of 30,000 square feet, including enclosed regional malls,” Little said.
Spring Creek Village, with its territorial architecture with Victorian influences, was 97 percent occupied at sale with a “hand-selected mix of financial services providers, restaurant and apparel, gift and home, health and beauty and luxury goods retailers,” Little said.
National and regional tenants include Starbucks — the first tenant to open, in 2006 — Morgan Stanley, First American Title & Trust Co., Fish City Grill, Scottrade, Legacy Bank and barre3, a specialty exercise studio.
“It was an inspiration and a fine experience for me” to develop and operate Spring Creek Village, said Ballenger, who started in the furniture business almost 50 years ago. Ballenger's Furniture most recent location was at 6410 N May Ave. until it closed in 2010. “I have a lot of mixed emotions,” he said.
Ballenger said the success of Spring Creek Village, and its strength, comes from the selectivity he brought to leasing. He frankly acknowledged that he “didn't lease to everybody.” He said he counseled with would-be tenants, making sure that newcomers to retailing or restaurants, especially, knew the risks of failure.
Up next for him? “I've got some things on my agenda. I wanted a little time to do a little traveling,” he said, adding that he also has some other investment ideas.
The sale and high price are signs of the times in that investors nationally are looking for high-end properties with good revenue because they're seen as safe, said Jim Parrack, senior vice president and retail property specialist with Price Edwards & Co.
Parrack said the sale was somewhat unusual, however, because so many local tenants make it “a little bit risky” for basing credit. He said the buyer probably is a local investor.
Little said financing for the acquisition was provided by John Meyers of RCB Bank. Pilar Beare of First American Title & Trust Co. provided title and escrow services.