BTB Exclusive – The future of Hme Depot Landscape Supply
February 25, 2008
By Bobby L. Hickman – Business to Business
Ram Realty Services, the Florida-based developer, has jump-started its entry into in the Atlanta market through its $22 million acquisition Home Depot’s entire Home Depot Landscape Supply (HDLS) portfolio earlier this month.
Ken Baye, senior vice president of development with Ram Realty Services, said Ram purchased all the former HDLS store properties, which were located in Atlanta and Dallas. “This was an opportunity to buy an entire portfolio of 11 solid suburban sites at one time,” Baye told Business to Business . “We bought the portfolio more for the land value and redevelopment opportunity.”
He said Ram plans to resell the six Dallas store sites and redevelop some Atlanta sites as new retail centers. In Snellville, Ram has a contract for 4-1/2 acres adjacent to 6-1/2-acre HDLS site on Janmar Road. “That provides about an 11-acre site for development in a section of Snellville that has become a very strong retail area.” He added a number of retailers are interested in the planned development.
There are four other metro Atlanta sites in Duluth, Kennesaw, Smyrna and Woodstock. Baye said Ram could redevelop two or three of those, and would most likely sell the rest to other parties. “We have some interest from a particular retailed in two of the sites, but I’d rather not say which ones because we haven’t finalized anything yet,” he said. “We’re keeping our options open. There is a lot of interest in all the sites; we’ll decide on what strategies to pursue based on that interest.”
Home Depot’s original strategy with the HDLS concept makes these properties particularly valuable, Baye noted. “When Home Depot developed these sites five to seven years ago, Home Depot’s concept was to put them in the path of development. With Atlanta’s growth the last few years, those areas are now in the midst of development rather than on the edge. So they provide a good opportunity for a number of different players – retailers and developers – as in-fill suburban sites.”
Ram is a relatively new player to the area, with Baye opening the Atlanta office last year. The company’s first local project is redeveloping the former Home Depot Expo site in the Lindbergh area as a mixed-use development with multi-family housing. “We’re excited about opening the Atlanta office, and look forward to developing additional properties in the Atlanta market,” he said. “Obviously, the five HDLS sites have accelerated our development opportunities in Atlanta.”
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