August 23, 2013

Four on Friday: Tim Perry of North American Properties

partner at
North American Properties (NAP) since 2009, Tim Perry has more than 15 years of experience in
the commercial real estate industry and has
been involved in more than $1 billion worth of commercial
real estate transactions throughout his career.

some big news recently when it announced the closing
of construction financing for the first phase of its Avalon mixed-use
development in Alpharetta. When it’s complete in 2015, Avalon will consist of
more than 500,000 square feet of retail, a 12-screen theater, boutique and
full-service hotels, Class-A office space, single-family residences and luxury
rental homes.

the heels of this big announcement, we got a chance to talk with Tim about
several topics, including his role at NAP, lenders’ appetites for new
construction and the likely near-term struggles of his favorite college
football team.

thanks to Tim for his time.

HS: Give us a
brief overview of your responsibilities at NAP.

As the Director of Investments, my primary responsibility includes
identifying acquisition opportunities and structuring the capital stack,
whether for construction financing or joint ventures, across the NAP platform.

HS: Avalon made
some big news last week when NAP announced that it had secured $126.5
million in construction financing for Phase I of the project and that vertical
construction had begun one month ahead of schedule. How hearty are lenders'
appetites currently for mixed-use projects such as Avalon?

Capital is certainly back and funding new construction: however,
commercial properties still must meet substantial pre-leasing requirements.

Large, mixed-use assets pose unique challenges as well, considering
there are typically multiple lenders involved in syndication. From a capital
standpoint, Avalon is the culmination of more than 75 percent pre-leasing to
high-quality tenants, two senior lenders, a mezzanine lender, and public-pension
equity – all of which had specific nuances that had to be managed to work in
conjunction with each other while maintaining flexibility for the project to be
delivered in line with scope and dates.

HS: Much has
been made about the growing challenge of online sales. Explain how NAP sites
such as Atlantic Station and Avalon work to answer that challenge and draw in

We refer to this as “trading clicks for bricks,” and it is all about
embracing the customer in the brand and activity of being on the property, not
the shopping itself. The point of sale is no longer at a cash register – it is
in the consumer’s engagement at the property and in the retailer’s space. Both NAP
and our tenants activate consumer spaces, whether through fly-fishing, yoga,
outdoor concerts, or a level of service provided on-site. Engaging our customer
is what cannot be replicated in front of a computer.

HS: Rumor has
it that you're an Arkansas Razorback fan. Care to offer a prediction on how the
football team will fare in Brett Bielema's first season in Fayetteville?

I think it’s going to be tough. Building a program is hard for any
coach the first year – especially in the SEC, where it takes time to establish
a solid recruiting platform under a new coaching staff.

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