Just as he is turning loose of such real estate holdings as his Chandler Park Apartments, Bowling Green developer David Chandler is aiming to beef up the apartment piece of his The Hub development on Lovers Lane.
Chandler, who has developed hotels, apartments and other projects in multiple states, was approved in April by the Warren County Design Review Board for an addition of 216 apartments in The Hub.
It will bring to 806 the number of multi-family units in The Hub, a 103-acre development next to the Lovers Lane Soccer Complex.
Chandler’s original plan called for 590 apartments on the property being developed on the late Dr. Roy Cooksey’s farm, but Chandler said the response to the apartments already built was an impetus to change his plan.
“We feel good about the reception we’ve had so far,” Chandler said. “We have 355 apartments leased currently, and we still haven’t finished all our amenity package that includes a pool and a golf putting green.”
Work on those amenities is continuing, along with work on the original 590 apartments, but Chandler said the time is right to move forward with nine more buildings that will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
“It (more apartments) was always a possibility,” Chandler said. “We wanted to see how the market was. The apartments have been received better than I could’ve imagined, so it made sense to start this next phase.”
Chandler pointed out that other parts of The Hub are also progressing. Work on a five-story, 195-room Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel is continuing, along with construction of a three-story, 32,727-square-foot office building being developed by former Bowling Green Mayor Johnny Webb and Jim Scott of Scotty’s Contracting and Stone.
Chandler hopes to have the Embassy Suites completed by early next year. He’s still looking for a tenant for a 3,900-square-foot restaurant space to be included in the hotel, but he said the coronavirus pandemic has delayed that project.
“We’re in conversation with several restaurants, but they’re just recovering from the pandemic and starting to talk again,” he said.
While all the construction at The Hub would suggest that Chandler is still in hyperactive building mode, the 61-year-old is actually trying to wind down on many of his projects.
He and longtime business partner Mike Simpson recently sold their Chandler Park apartment developments in Bowling Green, Owensboro and Paducah in two deals worth about $110 million.
Chandler Park Owensboro, a 320-unit complex on 17 acres, and Chandler Park Paducah, a 240-unit complex on 12 acres, were sold to St. Augustine, Fla.-based DLP Real Estate Capital.
The Chandler Park Bowling Green complex, first built in 2006 behind Greenwood Mall and expanded twice to its current 390 units, was purchased by Nashville’s Covenant Capital Group.
Simpson said the timing was right to make the deal.
“We’ve had a number of overtures from people interested in those properties in recent months,” Simpson said. “Retail commercial real estate has taken a hit during the pandemic, and office space is somewhat risky as well.
“But multi-family residential properties have remained consistent. After much consideration, we decided to enter into a deal.”
It’s a deal that Chandler believes is the right move for him at this stage in his life, although he admits to having an attachment to the properties.
“I kinda invented those projects in my mind and brought them to reality,” he said. “They’re good, healthy assets. The sale was just about the timing in my business life.”
Chandler had maintained an office at Chandler Park Bowling Green since its inception and has now moved that office to The Hub. He called the sale to Covenant – a company with $1.2 billion in real estate assets under management – a “reasonable offer in which both parties win.”
The sale will mean some changes at Bowling Green’s Chandler Park, according to a news release from Covenant.
“We intend to complete a comprehensive $3.3 million renovation to the exterior of the property and the interior of all the units,” the news release reads.
While shedding some of their signature real estate properties, Chandler and Simpson have made recent deals that show they’re not finished developing property.
In 2019, they purchased at auction the 200-acre Cave Valley Golf Club, an 18-hole course in Park City, along with surrounding acreage.
Chandler hopes to reopen the golf course in the spring of 2022.
“That has been a much grander undertaking than I initially imagined,” he said. “But we’re excited about it. I’m looking forward to bringing that landmark back to life.”
– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdaily news.com.