Blackstone Rolls Up AmericasMart in Atlanta to Expand in Display Room Mart Sector

Private Equity Giant, Which Acquired International Market Centers In 2015, is Purchasing Among its Main Mart Competitors

Blackstone-owned International Market Centers (IMC) will obtain its biggest rival in a move that will move ownership of more than 7 million square feet of showroom mart area from a company started by the late John Portman.

Las Vegas-based IMC, which Blackstone obtained in 2017, stated Tuesday it has actually accepted integrate with Atlanta’s AmericasMart, the home of the largest-single collection of house decoration, gift, rug and apparel product. The massive AmericasMart complex consists of 7.1 million square feet of showcase space in several buildings that cover a 14-block area in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

Regards to the deal were not revealed. Combined with IMC’s 12.2 million square feet of exhibit space in Las Vegas and High Point, N.C., International Market Centers will own and run almost 20 million square feet of the specialized showroom area that hosts markets and exhibits where merchants consult with producers and suppliers to select products to offer in their stores and online.

John Portman, the famous designer and developer who developed AmericasMart and numerous other landmark developments such as Peachtree Center in downtown Atlanta, passed away Dec. 29, 2017, at 93. Portman’s development of the Merchandise Mart, which opened in 1961, marked his first project in downtown Atlanta and forever changed the city’s core.

As the very first merchandise reveals gained traction, Portman understood he had developed a problem. Downtown Atlanta did not use sufficient hotel rooms to accommodate all the merchandisers and buying agents coming to town for the enormous sales marts.

“That’s what got me into the hotel service; we had no location to put them,” Portman informed this press reporter in an interview in April 2000. “The Regency [hotel] was a direct outgrowth of [the Merchandise Mart,” Portman said. “I was determined to develop as numerous hotels around the Market Center as it grew as I could.”

Ultimately he established the Westin Peachtree Plaza and Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

One of Portman’s boys, Jeffrey L. Portman, began working the docks at the Atlanta Product Mart when he was 8 years old. Today, Jeff Portman is president and COO of AmericasMart. He said the sale to IMC will reinforce both parties.

“AmericasMart has actually long functioned as a crossroads of commerce,” Portman said. “The signing up with of the exceptionally effective talents and resources present in both organizations will sustain and advance that function for the ultimate advantage of the customers we collectively serve.”

When the transaction closes, which is anticipated in July, Portman will serve as an advisor to IMC’s board of directors. Robert Maricich, the current CEO of IMC, will continue as president of the combined entity.

Prior to the purchase arrangement, IMC and AmericasMart had actually been fierce competitors in the mart service that hosts markets and exhibitions where merchants come to select products to offer in their stores and online. AmericasMart alone hosts 17 yearly markets and shows, consisting of the Atlanta International Present & & Home Furnishings Market and the Atlanta International Area Rug Market. Each year, more than 4,500 exhibitors and almost 200,000 attendees ply their sell the downtown Atlanta complex.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (Blackstone: NYSE: BX), in a collaboration with Fireside Investments, acquired IMC in 2017. The acquisition of AmericasMart shows the personal equity company’s continued confidence in Atlanta’s commercial property market, the company stated.

“Having grown up in Atlanta, I am well aware of the tremendous contributions the Portman household has made to the city and in developing AmericasMart into the leader it is today,” stated Tyler Henritze, head of U.S. Real Estate Acquisitions at Blackstone, in a declaration revealing the acquisition.

Henritze said Blackstone, which has actually invested $5 billion in other Atlanta realty residential or commercial properties given that 2012, will develop on Portman’s tradition “to even more purchase and enhance AmericasMart.”

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