Commercial property offers incredible opportunity

Jason Wade

When it comes to money managers, you can’t find anybody who commands more respect than Howard Marks, chairman of the Oaktree Management Group, which manages $77 billion. How well respected is he? Let’s put it this way: Warren Buffett says that when he gets a memo from Marks, it’s the first thing he reads.

So I was interested in the recent Barron’s cover story saying that “Marks and his Oaktree cohorts are enamored of commercial real estate.” In fact, they’ve made a $5 billion commitment to the commercial real estate sector. Among other things, they’re finishing projects and buying distressed properties, especially in small-to-medium size markets.

In other words, they’re doing a lot of the same things as the people who show up at a John Dixon auction to bid on restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses and other properties.

And we have a lot of commercial properties to sell in the next few weeks. On April 10, we’ll sell a 21,000-square-foot office/warehouse in Rome, a couple of strip shopping centers in Stockbridge, two commercial office buildings in Newnan, and a 10,353-square-foot commercial office building in Newnan.

The next day — April 11, in Pensacola — we’ll be selling about 30 properties, including a restaurant that formerly was the home of the well-known Wintzell’s Oyster House. That sale will also feature commercial tracts in Panama City Beach, a car wash in Santa Rosa, and other commercial properties.

The following week, we’ll have two more sales that feature some excellent commercial properties. On April 16, in Braselton, we’ll sell an office warehouse in Winder and some nice commercial lots in Bogart. On April 18, we’ll have two former day care centers and a number of other commercial properties.