Copeland Properties buildings in downtown SLO acquired by Atlanta-based company

Court Street and Downtown Centre are included in the deal; Chinatown is not

jlynem@thetribunenews.comApril 3, 2013 

Copeland Properties has entered into a financial partnership with a company that has an eye on expanding its real estate portfolio in major U.S. retail markets. Jamestown, an Atlanta-based real estate investment and management company, has high-profile assets in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco, and now downtown San Luis Obispo.

On Tuesday, Copeland Properties finalized a deal with Jamestown in which the real estate investment company acquired several Copeland Properties buildings in an area bounded by Chorro, Osos, Monterey and Marsh streets.

Court Street and Downtown Centre are among the properties in the portfolio and include buildings that house such retailers as Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, the Cal Poly store and the buildings where Sports Authority used to be, which Copeland Properties is preparing to remodel and lease.

The property where the Chinatown project is to be built is not part of the transaction.
As part of the partnership, Jamestown assumed roughly $50 million in Copeland Properties’ debt in exchange for Copeland Properties receiving about $50 million in shares in Jamestown’s Premier Property fund, which includes “high-quality, income producing office and retail properties in 24-hour metropolitan centers,” according to Jamestown’s website. Copeland Properties’ San Luis Obispo buildings, consisting of 195,000 square feet, are now part of the fund’s asset mix.

“These are good people to work with, and this will be a good relationship,” said Tom Copeland, who owns Copeland Properties with his brother, Jim. “It brings a lot of notoriety to downtown.”

Copeland Properties is an equity partner with Jamestown and retains an ownership stake in their properties, Tom Copeland said, adding that he wasn’t sure what percentage Copeland Properties retained.  He also noted his company will continue to manage all of the properties, as well as develop its other San Luis Obispo properties such as Chinatown. 

“From a tenant standpoint, nothing really changes,” he said. “We’re the hands-on manager.”

Jamestown approached the Copelands and began discussions with them in spring 2012, said Michael Phillips, Jamestown’s chief operating officer. Founded in 1983 and with about $8 billion in strategic investments, Jamestown has been focusing on “community and Main Street retail,” and saw Copeland Properties’ holdings as an opportunity to build on that, Phillips said.

“We’re very focused on building strong neighborhood and town community projects,” he said. “The Copelands have done a beautiful job in San Luis Obispo, and it seemed like a great partnership. We’ll have opportunities to work with them throughout the U.S.”

The Copelands had a history of being “regionally present in multiple cities with their sporting goods stores but having a small-town approach,” Phillips said.

Phillips added that acquiring the San Luis Obispo properties had “everything to do with the university presence, its strong, young, technologically savvy workforce, and the fact that it’s a great empty-nester, early retirement location,” he said. “The tourism on the Central Coast, with the wine region and the beaches, is a great draw for us. It’s a high-quality small town that many different people engage in.”

Jamestown owns three other assets in California, all in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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