Correction: The initial version of this post incorrectly identified the buyer of Dixie Valley Shopping Center; the buyer is Inland Real Estate Income Trust Inc., not sister company Inland American. IL regrets the error.
We created The Closing Bell last spring after we figured out staffers, contributors and insiders were sitting on too many scoops that couldn’t wait for the Monday Business Briefing. Since then, we’ve scooped too many big stories to count.
This week in TCB we have some good news about local employment and a Louisville-launched startup, as well as some not-so-good news about embattled Porter Bank and a beloved Germantown dive.
But first, we have details about a big real estate deal in south Louisville…
Dixie Valley Shopping Center sold for $13.6 million
Not long ago, the prospect of Dixie Valley Shopping Center being sold for a profit seemed highly unlikely.
Just four years ago, in 2011, the center was in foreclosure, with a 34 percent occupancy rate, and the big exciting news was that it adjoined a renovated Wal-Mart. Woo-hoo!
How times have changed. On Dec. 8, the rejuvenated center was sold by its owner Baceline Investments for $13.6 million, and now has a 92 percent occupancy rate. Baceline is a Denver-based private equity real estate investment and management firm. Baceline sold it to Chicago-based Inland Real Estate Income Trust Inc.
Baceline bought the center in 2011 for $3.3 million, and then sank $5.7 million into sprucing up the place, for a total investment of $9 million. Baceline now walks away with a tidy $4.6 million profit.
But, yeah, about Inland. You might recognize that name as IL recently reported on how Inland American Real Estate Trust took over management of Westport Village, and the news on that front hasn’t been so great. As it turns out, Inland American and the aforementioned Inland Real Estate Income Trust fall under the same umbrella — the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies. On its website, the parent real estate group explains: “Our companies often share market knowledge and experience with one another in the areas of leasing, property management, land development, commercial real estate brokerage, acquisition, commercial lending and other areas of real estate.”
There are parallels here. Like Dixie Valley, Westport Village had been considered a turnaround success. Then the ones that made it a success sold it to an Inland Group company.
In February 2013, Louisville’s Underhill Associates sold the controlling interest in Westport Village’s holding company, called Camelot Acquisitions, to Inland American. And then the sparks started to fly. Meaning Camelot/Inland American got sued.
Here’s how IL put it:
Nearly two dozen tenants of Westport Village are suing Camelot Acquisition LLC, the holding company that owns the shopping center, accusing them of overcharging store owners for various fees while underperforming when it comes to property upkeep and management duties.
In a complaint filed in Jefferson Circuit Court on Oct. 27, the tenants say Camelot’s failure to hire a local property manager has caused ‘unreasonable and excessive operating expenses and caused deficient property management.’”
We saw what happened with Westport Village under the management of Inland American. Now we can see if history repeats with its sister company at Dixie Valley.
Louisville-founded Backupify sold to Datto for ‘a lot more than we raised’
Backupify may be the startup that kicked off the “brain drain” belly-aching in Louisville when they relocated to Cambridge, Mass., to find funding and tech talent. And the cloud data backup service sure found funding — to the tune of $19.5 million raised to date.
On Thursday, national tech blogs were all a-twitter about the company: It’s been sold to Norwalk, Conn.-based Datto to form a company with more than 400 employees and “revenue potentially nearing the nine-digits for this year,” according to the news website Boston Inno.
While Tech Crunch attributes the founding of Backupify to Cambridge, Mass., we all know better. “It was most definitely founded at the Panera on Dutchmans!” says Nick Huhn, local digital marketing architect.
Not only was Backupify founded here, its co-founder — a man who’s on everyone’s “nicest people in the entrepreneurial community list” — Vik Chadha still lives here. Sometimes good things happen to good people.
Terms have not been released, but Backupify co-founder and CEO Rob May told TechCrunch that his investors were more than satisfied. “It was a lot more than we raised,” he said. Wow.
Congrats, Rob and Vik!