BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Graham & Co. had 15 property sales for $12.6 million and 33 leases worth $8.1 million in the first quarter of 2012, confirming the company’s expectations for the commercial real estate market coming off a strong two quarters at the end of 2011.
“The opening quarter activity is typically the slowest as year-end deals are completed giving a pop to the year-end,” said Sonny Culp, broker and senior vice president at Graham.
Culp said Graham had three sales and 11 leases in March to end the quarter.
One of the sales was the Children’s Aid Society’s purchase of the 17,350-square-foot former Bodine corporate office and 50 parking spaces at 214 14th Ave. South for its new offices, after the asking price on the building was reduced from $1.6 million to $1.35 million. Graham’s Sam Carroll represented the seller; Corporate Realty Services represented the buyer.
The new owners plan a major renovation.
In another transaction, Graham’s Ogden Deaton represented the seller of 152 acres off Interstate 59 and Alabama 174 in St. Clair County near Springville to SBE Development for $1.7 million.
Deaton said the buyer is a group that owns the adjacent land. He said the group has not announced plans for the property, but the acreage purchased “is adjacent to the interstate and on ramp and gives them better access for their future development.”
Graham’s Jack Brown brokered Dexter Fortson Associates Inc.’s purchase of a 12,480-square-foot industrial building at 5541 Powder Plant Lane in Bessemer. DFA manufactures and services equipment for the utility, manufacturing and coal mining industries.
Among the lease deals Graham completed in March:
• Trio Engineered Products leased 15,000 square feet of industrial space at The Distribution Center in Homewood. Deaton represented the landlord, while Graham’s Jordan Tubb represented the tenant.
• Event Rentals Unlimited Inc. leased 13,000 square feet of industrial space at the Distribution Center in Homewood. Deaton and Graham’s Robin Domit handled the transaction.
• Sanders Hyland Corp., a full service commercial flooring contractor, leased 2,500 square feet of warehouse space at 3433 Lorna Lane. Graham’s Tubb represented the landlord; RealtySouth represented the tenant.
• Advantage Payroll renewed its lease for 3,200 square feet at 3125 Independence Drive in Homewood Plaza. Graham’s Dan Lovell represented the tenant; J.H. Berry and Gilbert represented the landlord.
• Dominion Management finalized plans to remain in 6,500 square feet at the Meadow Brook 1200 building on Corporate Drive. Graham’s Brad Jones represented the landlord.
• HB Logistics, a transportation company, leased 9,000 square feet of office and warehouse space at 1420 Hildegarde Street in Pinson. Brown represented the landlord, and Graham’s John Coleman represented the tenant.
• Birmingham Mobile Inc. leased 5,000 square feet of warehouse space at 1520 Simmsville Road in Alabaster. Coleman represented the tenant; Southpace Properties represented the landlord.
• Hanes Companies renewed its 38,000-square- foot lease at Perimeter Industrial Park in Bessemer. Culp represented Hanes; EGS Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord.
• Mountain Brook Sporting Goods leased 2,500 square feet of office and warehouse space at 3433 Lorna Lane. Tubb represented the landlord.
Culp said commercial companies in the Birmingham area are trying to get more properties sold and leased before new development can be justified. “Graham and other firms are seeing reduced inventory in some property categories and many landlords are seeing a stabilization of occupancies that point to a positive future,” he said.
He said the rest of 2012 should see that happen, albeit slower than what most would want.
“Our pipeline of sales and leasing activity remains strong,” he said.
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