Angelo Gordon JV Sells Tampa Office Portfolio for $157M

The five-building collection includes WeWork Place, a 19-story tower that occupies an entire city block.

WeWork Place. Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

A joint venture between Partners Group, a Swiss-based global private markets group, and Parkway Property Investors, an Orlando, Fla.-based real estate investment firm, has acquired a five-building, 756,038-square-foot office portfolio in Tampa, Fla., for $156.9 million. The seller of the properties in Tampa’s CBD and Westshore submarkets was a joint venture formed by Angelo Gordon, a New York-based private equity real estate investment firm, and Commercial Florida Realty Partners.

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The properties include 501 E. Kennedy Blvd., now known as WeWork Place, a 19-story, 296,082-square-foot building that occupies a city block in downtown Tampa. The other assets are: Westshore Corporate Center, Cypress Center I, II and III. The properties were all built between 1981 and 1988, and the overall occupancy was approximately 91 percent at the time of sale. The Cypress Center properties are value-add, Class B assets, while the other two are Class A office buildings. The Cypress Center properties total 287,000 square feet and include a 6.1-acre parcel with entitlements for a six-story, 200,000-square-foot office building that would be called Cypress Center IV. Westshore Corporate Center is a 12-story, 173,000-square-foot Class A tower at the intersection of Westshore Boulevard and I-275.

Parkway Properties and Partners Group also acquired REO Center at 405 N. Reo St. in Tampa’s Westshore, from Commercial Florida Realty alone. Built in 1981, the property comprises 77,414 square feet. For all six assets, the joint venture landed a $121.5 million acquisition loan from Berkadia.

The Cushman & Wakefield investment sales team of Vice Chairman Mike Davis, Executive Managing Director Rick Brugge, Director Rick Colon, Senior Financial Analyst Zachary Eicholtz and Financial Analyst Ryan Jenkins represented Angelo Gordon in the sale. The Miami-based Berkadia team of Senior Managing Director Charles Foschini and Managing Director Christopher Apone arranged the financing on behalf of Parkway Properties/Partners Group.

Davis said in a prepared statement that acquiring Class A and B properties in Tampa’s top two office submarkets offered a rare opportunity for diversification. He cited the combination of rapidly rising rents, surging employment metrics and the portfolio’s diversification as helping the firm to secure strong pricing from a variety of capital sources for the deal.

Building the portfolio

Commercial Florida, a full-service commercial real estate office investor and operator based in Tampa and Boca Raton, Fla., and Angelo Gordon formed a joint venture—Commercial Florida Westshore LLC—in July 2015 to acquire the Westshore Office Portfolio, the four buildings totaling 460,056 square feet in the Westshore submarket. Commercial Florida partnered with Angelo Gordon again in February 2016 to purchase the building at 501 E. Kennedy Blvd.

With WeWork taking about 60,000 square feet, the downtown Tampa building was renamed WeWork Place. Other tenants include GE Capital, Woodforest National Bank, BMO Harris Bank, BDO USA and Frank Recruitment. The building’s proximity to multiple courthouses has also attracted legal tenants including LaCava & Jacobson; Banker Lopez & Gassler; and the Florida Attorney General’s office.

George Sacks, president of Commercial Florida, said the firm spent $5.3 million on capital improvements including building out numerous office suites on spec, replacing atrium skylights, modernizing elevators and completing a streetscape project along Kennedy Boulevard. The improvements and new business plan resulted in taking the building from 57 percent occupancy, after a major tenant had left prior to the purchase, to 89 percent occupancy. The building also features an attached parking garage, conference/training center, fitness center and employee lounge with coffee bar. Ground-floor retail includes on-site banking, a hair salon, restaurant and bagel deli.

Commercial Florida also spent $7.5 million on capital improvements throughout the Westshore Office Portfolio. The firm spent $5.8 million at Cypress Center I, II and III located at 5404, 5310 and 5405 Cypress Center Drive. Renovations included atrium upgrades at Cypress I and III, a new fitness center at Cypress II, an innovative eating facility at Cypress Center III, new energy efficient air-conditioning systems and new monument signage. Westshore Corporate Center, located at 600 N. Westshore Blvd., received $1.7 million in improvements, including modernizing and renovating elevators and installing updated LED lighting.

The Westshore Office Portfolio has a diverse mix of tenants including Progressive, Amscot Corp., Redfin, Federated Mutual Insurance, American Express, James Albertelli Law, ADP, Healthesystems, Invitation Homes, InvestCloud, Bancorp Bank and USPS.

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