Former TRA headquarters sold for $8.9M — $8.5M for state, $400K for auction company

The Nashville building that was for years home to the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, previously known as the Public Service Commission, was sold at auction Wednesday for just over $8.9 million, according to the Nashville Post. Included was an adjacent parking lot.

The state Department of General Services says via email the state gets $8.5 million of the money. The rest of the $8,925,000 price goes to the real estate company handling the sale.

Excerpt from the department news release:

The sale is expected to close August 7.

“Today’s sale is a great development from many perspectives,” said Bob Oglesby, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of General Services.  “The state is reducing the size of its real estate portfolio and thereby lowering operating costs, a valuable piece of property is being returned to the tax base, and the revenue from the sale will benefit the taxpayers of Tennessee.”

 The site, at 450-460 James Robertson Parkway, including 2.08 acres and a 45,000 SF office building, was sold on behalf of the state by Compass Auctions of Chattanooga, which was selected by a competitive bidding process.

The state has owned the property, formerly owned by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., since January 2, 1986.  Sale of the property was authorized by the State Building Commission on October 24, 2016.

Further from the Post:

The winning bid is the equivalent of $97.29 per square foot.

Of note, 460 James Robertson Parkway sits adjacent to the parcel home to the NewsChannel 5 headquarters building.

… The properties span a collective 2.1 acres and are located on the north side of James Robertson Parkway and Gay Street, with frontage on the south side of Fourth Avenue North.

For comparison, the 21-story Parkway Towers, which sits on 0.71 acres, sold to PHR Parkway LLC in December 2015 for $19 million… The state acquired from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. the two parcels in January 1986 for $3.8 million.

UPDATE/NOTE: A contract provision prompted the Department of General Services to name the apparent low bidder until closing Aug. 7. But the Tennessean reports it was an affiliate of Chicago-based hotel consulting and design firm The Gettys Group. The hotel consulting and design firm is no stranger to Nashville real estate having paid $3 million for The Realtors Building at 306 Gay St. roughly 2 1/2 years ago.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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