Just a few months after hitting the market, the Eck family’s Fan real estate holdings have been spoken for.
The entirety of the family’s 158 properties around the neighborhood is now in the hands of various new owners, following a slew of sales totaling $48.8 million.
Many of the deals closed between mid-December and early January, city records show, with 13 different groups or individuals now owning parts of the portfolio.
The bulk of the new owners are local. However, the largest buyer was Carolina Capital Real Estate Partners, a Charlotte-based firm that in late December spent $22 million on 47 parcels spanning the 1200 to 1500 blocks of West Main Street. Most of the buildings Carolina Capital bought have commercial uses with tenants like Kokonut Grill, City Dogs, Gold’s Gym and a variety of office users.
Carolina Capital partner John Ash said the deal was the firm’s first in Richmond and adds to its portfolio of about 25 properties throughout the Southeast.
“This is what we focus on: mixed-use, street retail, office and apartments,” Ash said. “This was a very unique portfolio. We thought it was an attractive way to enter an attractive market.”
The family’s late patriarch Edgar Eck Jr. built the portfolio in the 1980s when he rehabbed dozens of buildings along West Main and Cary streets, many of which still sport the pastel-colored facades Eck painted them back in the day.
After holding them for decades, the family put everything on the market in September, listing the lot of it with Commonwealth Commercial’s Kit Tyler and Nash Warren.
While new owners are in place, a common refrain among the buyers is that they don’t intend to redevelop or change much about the properties. Ash said that’s the case for Carolina Capital.
“We really just plan on operating in the same high character the Ecks have,” he said.
Some of Carolina Capital’s new holdings have commercial spaces that are vacant, which Ash said they’re planning to upgrade and market for new food and beverage users. One South Commercial’s Ann Schweitzer-Riley and Ken Campbell have the listing on those properties.
A group of One South brokers also got in on the Eck action from the buying side.
Schweitzer-Riley and Campbell, along with their One South colleagues Liz McSorley, Lory Markham, Ryan Rilee, Tom Rosman and Justin Sledd, teamed up to purchase 1805-1827 W. Cary St. from the Ecks for $2.85 million.
The parcels include nine two-story townhomes, as well as three vacant lots at 1823-1827 W. Cary St. Rosman said they’re currently mulling their development options for those lots, which total just over a quarter of an acre.
Rilee said the group’s purchase does not signal the creation of a formal development arm for One South, rather it was a fun side-project for the group of brokers.
The last of the Ecks’ Fan sales to close was a deal with University Property, a local property management firm that bought 1323-1329 W. Main St., 1324 W. Cary St. and 9 S. Harvie St. in early January for $6.5 million.
Those buildings include the home of restaurants Postbellum and Little Mexico, fitness studio Maiden Motion and the offices of Blue Dog Properties, as well as 25 apartments.
University Properties’ Andrew Horrocks said all the leases carried over in the sale and that they’re not planning any major changes to the buildings.
Tyler at Commonwealth Commercial said they were pleased to have such a fast turnaround on the sales. He added that the Ecks also have an industrial property in Charlottesville that’s also under contract and set to close soon.