LOUISVILLE, KY. — An affiliate of Centro Properties Group has sold the 422,000-square-foot Springhurst Towne Center to D. Talmage Hocker, Brad Anderson and a group of Louisville investors for $42.4 million. The property, located at the intersection of Westport Road and Interstate 265, is anchored by Target and Meijer. Springhurst also houses Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx, Dick’s Sporting Goods and dressbarn.

Due to the current economy, searching for a buyer was a painstaking process. Oak Brook, Ill.-based May Center Advisors brought the deal on the market for Centro right as stocks were plummeting and Bernie Madoff was being carted off to court. “In this market, you’re not just looking for somebody to make an offer, you’re looking for the group that has the strongest probability of getting to the finish line,” says John May of MCA. “[The buyers] came to the table and seemed to make the most sense for the property and also had put together the best financial engineering structure to actually get this closed in a difficult market.”

U.S. Bank provided financing for the transaction, which proved to be a huge selling point for Centro Properties. “There’s a very strong relationship between the buyer and that lender,” May says. “That really was one of the primary reasons we elected to pursue that buyer.”

The retail arena is driven by consumer sales; when consumers have no money, retail transactions suffer more than transactions concerning other property types. In a stable market, a $42 million shopping center sale would be news in the local paper, but in this economy, it’s a front-page story nationwide. “It’s not just significant from a Louisville perspective. There’s been very few transactions that have occurred, especially of any size over $20 million,” May says. “I believe we are the largest strip center transaction to occur in the Midwest in 2009.”

— Jon Ross

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