Fuqua Homes factory sold

Buyer and real estate broker plan renovations

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin

Published Jan 24, 2014 at 12:01AM

The former Fuqua Homes factory, a 125,000-square-foot industrial space vacant two years, has been sold to a Bend firm that plans to bring it back online.

The building on Murray Road, where Fuqua Homes Inc. built manufactured and modular homes for more than 40 years, sold for $2.7 million, down from a list price of $4 million. The deal closed Dec. 31, according to Deschutes County records.

The buyer, Murray Road I LLC, was formed in December by Bradley Kent, a hedge fund manager, and his wife, Melissa Kent.

Brian Fratzke, of Fratzke Commercial Real Estate, Bend, represented the buyer and seller, PCB-ARC Inc., a subsidiary of PlainsCapital Bank, of Texas.

Bradley Kent said Fratzke pitched the idea of renovating and leasing the former factory, off Boyd Acres Road.

“What I do know is he has a pretty keen eye for the upside of an opportunity,” Fratzke said.

Kent is co-founder and managing partner of Stadium Capital Management, which had 12 percent ownership in Big 5 Sporting Goods in September, among its other holdings. But this acquisition is not associated with the investment firm, he said.

“This is a personal investment,” Kent said Thursday.

He said Fratzke is in charge of renovating the Fuqua property for industrial use, leasing it and managing it. Planning is underway — two architectural firms are working on conceptual drawings. But details are still to come, said Fratzke and Kent.

“I don’t know that we really know for sure what the tenant mix will be. The most I would say right now is the plan is to redevelop the site into a multi-tenant facility,” Kent said.

Fratzke said the property came on the market in May 2013. PlainsCapital, acquired in May 2012 by a Texas holding company, Hilltop Holdings, moved to dispose of the idled plant quickly. That set the stage for a deal that saved the Kents $1.2 million.

“The bank acquiring Plains­Capital asks, ‘Why are we holding onto this?’” Fratzke said. “At the same time, we have an increased demand for industrial space in Bend.”

The former home factory is within an enterprise zone created in 2010, meaning its owners and lessees may qualify for tax abatements based upon improvements to the site and the number of jobs created, said Roger Lee, executive director of Economic Development for Central Oregon. The site is one of the few of its size left within the Bend city limits, he said.

Fratzke said the amount of vacant industrial space in Bend dropped from more than 1.2 million square feet in 2011 to about 250,000 available for lease in November.

Fratzke said he foresees potential for high-tech, biotech or pharmaceutical firms to locate at the site. He said the space can be tailored to accommodate a number of companies at various square-foot increments.

The property includes a 3,850-square-foot office building, with 16 offices, a separate warehouse and 4 acres of land. It came with utility hook-ups, work-traffic credit with the city and parking spaces, Fratzke said. He said the site is free of environmental hazards, as well.

Fuqua Homes Inc., a Texas-based company, employed 330 workers in 2006, but only 50 by February 2010, according to The Bulletin’s archives. Legal actions, including involuntary bankruptcy in Indiana and complaints to the Oregon Department of Justice that it failed to deliver paid-for homes, plagued the company in its final years. In December 2011, PlainsCapital, based in Dallas, sued Fuqua and related companies in Oregon state courts to recover more than $8 million in delinquent loans. The bank wound up with the Bend property in a resulting foreclosure.

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com