About a dozen Russ Darrow properties, including dealerships, a collision center and the company's headquarters office building have been sold to a California real estate investment trust for about $95.8 million in a large sale-leaseback deal.
The properties were sold by a limited liability company affiliated with Mike Darrow, the president of Menomonee Falls-based Russ Darrow Automotive Group, which operates more than a dozen auto dealerships in Wisconsin.
The dealerships that sold are located in Milwaukee, West Bend, Menomonee Falls, and Wauwatosa, town of Madison, and city of Madison and include the auto group's headquarters at W133 N8569 Executive Parkway in Menomonee Falls.
They were purchased by Realty Income Corp. of San Diego, a large, publicly-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns thousands of commercial properties. The sales represent the bulk of Russ Darrow Auto Group's real estate holdings, which include about 17 properties.
Here are the Russ Darrow dealerships that were sold to Realty Income Corp. and the sale price (according to state documents):
10901 and 10851 W. Metro Auto Mall, Milwaukee (Russ Darrow Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Milwaukee and Russ Darrow Honda) – $21.28 million
1901 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa (Russ Darrow Kia of Wauwatosa) – $15.15 million
3502 Lancaster Drive, Madison (Russ Darrow Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM of Madison) – $11.5 million
2302 W. Beltline Highway, Madison (Russ Darrow Mazda of Madison) – $9.99 million
11330 W. Metro Auto Mall, Milwaukee (Russ Darrow Metro Mazda) – $8.52 million
2137-2141 E. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha (Russ Darrow Kia of Waukesha) – $6.72 million
11212 and 11222 West Metro Auto Mall, Milwaukee (Russ Darrow Nissan of Milwaukee) – $6.32 million
2800 W. Washington St., West Bend (Russ Darrow Toyota) – $5.81 million
2665 Washington Street, West Bend (Russ Darrow Nissan of West Bend) – $4.32 million
9301 W. Brown Deer Road, Milwaukee (Russ Darrow Collision Center of Milwaukee) – $1.92 million
Asked about the sales on Monday morning, Mike Darrow said they were sale-leaseback transactions only, and “will have no impact” on the auto group’s retail business operations.
“Things will continue ‘business as usual’ for our employees and customers alike,” Darrow said in a statement. “The Russ Darrow group has been proudly servicing and supporting communities across the state of Wisconsin for 57 years and will continue for years to come.”
Darrow said the company doesn't have any "specific plans" for the cash it netted from the property sales, but hopes to use the funds for "diversification."