Habersham Village is one of Vanguard’s more recent acquisitions, purchased at auction in March 2019. While not the standard manner of our acquisitions, this property represents the third auction purchase by Vanguard; the previous two auction purchases have yielded very positive results, and we feel very confident that Habersham Village will follow suit. This property is located in Cornelia, a city in Habersham County, Georgia; the county has a population of approximately 45,000, with strong growth trends, and is located approximately thirty miles northeast of metro Atlanta. Habersham Village is situated proximate to the strategic interchange of US Hwy 441 and US Hwy 23. This 147,182 square foot, 15.925-acre project, along with its neighbors, forms the main retail hub of the market. The retail center has great visibility and multiple points of access/egress, including a traffic signal at J. Warren Road.
The property was purchased with an existing tenant base which includes Big Lots, Hibbett Sports, and a number of shop tenants. In addition, the property had a vacant box of 87,000 square feet (former K-Mart) which represents a significant value-add opportunity. Upon purchase, Vanguard immediately initiated renovation efforts at the center which included LED parking lot lighting, overall parking lot improvements, and painting the center’s exterior facade for an updated look. In conjunction with these efforts, Planet Fitness, the center’s most recent addition, now occupies a portion of the vacant box; in addition, two other national retailers have signed LOIs to take portions of this space. It is anticipated that by mid-2021, Habersham Village will be close to full occupancy, with some best-in-class retailers and an increased vibrancy to the project.