EquiTrust USA Acquires Holdings of Cataloochee Companies

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Having acquired the holdings of the three Cataloochee companies, EquiTrust USA will now pursue the development of Cataloochee Wilderness Resort according to the master plan.

EquiTrust USA, a Maryland real estate investment trust, has acquired 100 percent of the ownership and assets of Cataloochee Holdings LLC, Cataloochee Commons LLC and Cataloochee Hospitality LLC. EquiTrust USA has also made several additions to its development and construction team, including bringing on national firm Jones Lang Lasalle, who will manage retail leasing and property management, A&E firm Clark, Patterson and Lee who will oversee civil and traffic engineering, and contractors Whiting-Turner and Anderson/Perini to manage construction of the Cataloochee Commons and The Lodge during Phase One of the development build-out. Phase One will require extensive site preparation. Blalock and Sons will perform that work.

The companies join project design and management firm UDG, who developed the original master plan for the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort. UDG also has been selected as the Architects for each of the Phase One building components. EquiTrust USA foresees a multi-phase, multi-year development timeframe to complete the $14 billion lifestyle resort and retail complex, which will lie adjacent to Interstate 40 west of Asheville and contiguous with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Now having acquired these three Cataloochee companies, EquiTrust USA will pursue the development of Cataloochee Wilderness Resort according to the master plan. EquiTrust USA’s forward-looking vision for the project also includes acquiring and managing other entertainment and hospitality properties in the area, to provide resort amenities, such as a golf course and entertainment venues, that complement the vision of the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort master plan, and to produce operating capital and shareholder distributions.

About the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort:

The initial objective is developing a lifestyle resort and retail complex in a location that is complementary to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the surrounding national forests. The genesis of EquiTrust USA is a love for this region and knowledge that there will be economic development in its future. With proper planning and direction, economic development can have a positive relationship with the wonder of this unique environment. Beginning by collecting a team of well-seasoned design and financial professionals, the EquiTrust USA team is committed to providing harmonious new growth to the region while also having a gentle hand on the land.

“Our team is dedicated to creating a sustainable high quality of life for the community, as well as provide a vibrant resort with amenities that celebrate the majestic soul of the region,” stated Don Buenger, Chairman of EquiTrust.

With these goals in mind, “Cataloochee Wilderness Resort” begins with a Phase One “Critical Mass” that includes such unique features as the International Home Store (a 450,000 square foot, three-story facility dedicated to furniture and accessories) and is given “Critical Identity” by the themed design of the Cataloochee Wilderness Lodge and Conference Center. The brand is further reinforced by the “OutdoorWorld” – a complex of three 50,000 square foot outfitters and sports outlets encircling the Museum of Outdoor Living.

About EquiTrust USA:

EquiTrust USA is an early-stage REIT formed in 2012 to focus investment capital on retail, hospitality and residential real estate development – specifically, developing a lifestyle resort and retail complex in a location in the southeastern United States. The company intends to qualify as a real estate investment trust for federal income tax purposes, or REIT, for the taxable year ending December 31, 2014.

The company is conducting a Rule 506(c) unregistered offering of its Series A preferred shares to raise initial capital to begin acquiring properties within the footprint of the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort master plan. EquiTrust USA intends to declare an annual dividend of seven percent of gross invested capital on outstanding common shares or common share equivalents, payable quarterly beginning March 2014 and continuing until a certificate of occupancy has been obtained for the first revenue-generating property. Following this period and assuming profitability, shareholder distributions will be scheduled in line with traditional REIT practices.

EquiTrust USA’s executive offices are located at 3475 Piedmont Rd, NE, Suite 1200, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.996.5838. Additional information about EquiTrust USA may be obtained at http://www.equitrustusa.com. Additional information about Cataloochee Wilderness Resort may be obtained at http://www.cataloocheewildernessresort.com.

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Lori Tilt
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