Our client, Diana Tabesh is a well-known name in the women’s fashion industry. In the mid-to-late 2000s Diana launched two different high quality denim lines that became very popular with celebrities such as Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria, and more. She also designed for two different labels until 2010. She was based in Los Angeles, but having lived in Dallas in the past, she wanted to move back and raise her family there. In late 2013 she launched Planet Bardot, a high-end women’s clothing and fashion accessories boutique, and her reputation followed her from Hollywood to the heart of Texas, and almost immediately the boutique became a huge success.
With an ever growing customer base and an extremely loyal following, Diana and her husband, Bob, knew they had to find additional space in order for the business to continue to thrive. Unfortunately, finding additional space to lease on Knox Street, which is a prominent retail corridor in Dallas, was either extremely difficult to come by or came at such a high lease rate, there just weren’t any economically viable options for the business to expand into and remain in that area.
That is when Bob’s acumen within the real estate industry proved to be incredibly valuable to the business. He recognized that there was an opportunity to potentially purchase the building that already housed Planet Bardot’s business and expand it to not only accommodate the needs of Diana’s successful business, but also attract other high-end retail tenants that would further complement the Planet Bardot brand.
After successfully negotiating a purchase and sale contract with the building owners in January 2015, Diana and Bob quickly realized that they had a lot of work to do as it related to completing their plans for expanding and improving the property, but more importantly, securing the necessary financing needed to close on the acquisition of the property within the timeframe that was acceptable to the seller. With Planet Bardot having just a little over a year of operating history then, conventional commercial financing was not likely, so Diana and Bob began exploring other options to enable them to achieve their dream of owning their own building and becoming landlords.
Through an introduction made by a mutually-trusted intermediary, they were connected to Mercantile Capital and we began the process of finding the most beneficial way to execute on their business plan. As a nationally recognized expert in SBA 504 lending, we offered Diana and Bob the opportunity to secure acquisition and construction financing that combined below market, long term fixed interest rates with higher leverage (85% loan to cost), enabling them to preserve extremely valuable operating capital needed to grow their business.
“We believe that without Mercantile’s expertise, we would have failed to obtain the best-suited financing for our project. Our (SBA) 504 loan gives us room to grow and generate rental income with less money out-of-pocket than a conventional loan would have. The terms that Mercantile provided to us guaranteed this project’s success and surpassed all our expectations.”
— Diana Tabesh / Owner, Planet Bardot
Diana and Bob used their ingenuity to develop a plan to undertake the expansion of their building without having to close the operations of the boutique. This also allowed them to take the time to find the right, complimentary tenants for the building and to even adjust the construction drawings to accommodate their needs. What makes this even more impressive is that in the midst of the expansion Planet Bardot was named the “best business” in three different categories in The Best of the Big D 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. The company won for “Best Women’s Clothing Boutique”, “Best Shop for Designer Label”, and “Best Place to Buy Jeans.” Planet Bardot’s achievements with these awards represented outstanding service, exceptional product quality, and an inviting retail environment, which enabled them to garner the wins over acclaimed, multinational competitors such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.
With the expansion Planet Bardot now occupies the majority of the newly renovated retail building, including a new second floor, an elevator, and much needed additional parking for its customers. The expansion and high-end improvements have also attracted some of the world’s most notable retailers, which have executed leases for the remaining space not occupied by Planet Bardot, further augmenting the cash flow of the business operations with rental income from several complimentary retail brands.
“We feel our success had to do with Mercantile trusting in Planet Bardot and enabling us to purchase our property and expand our store. With our 6,900+ square foot sales floor, Planet Bardot will become a nationally recognized, powerful fashion house .”
— Bob Tabesh / Owner, Planet Bardot
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