Velocis Completes 4th Atlanta Office Buy

The fund manager intends to implement a series of upgrades at the three-building Sugarloaf Corporate Center located in the heart of Gwinnett County.

By Adriana Marinescu

Velocis has purchased Sugarloaf Corporate Center, a three-building, 256,180-square-foot office park in Duluth, Ga. AEW Capital Management sold the asset that had been in their possession since 2015. At the time, the property traded for $37.6 million, per Yardi Matrix data. 

Located at 2160-2180 Satellite Blvd., the complex is 4.4 miles southeast of downtown Duluth, right off Interstate 85. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is within a 40-minute drive. The property is on a 20-acre site, within a 62-acre master-planned office park in the heart of Gwinnett County. Completed between 1998 and 2001, the Class A four-story buildings are 98 percent leased to 30 tenants including Regus, Wells Fargo and The John Maxwell Co.

The new owner intends to implement significant upgrades at the property. The planned enhancements include improving the outdoor amenity area, adding on-site food service and replacing the roof for one of the buildings.

According to Velocis, Sugarloaf Corporate Center provides a strong and secure cash-flow at an 8.8 percent going-in cap rate. The acquisition marks the buyer’s fourth investment in the Atlanta metro area. Its current Atlanta portfolio also includes Parkway at Avalon, a two-building office complex in Alpharetta, Ga. Last October, the fund manager sold a 152,935-square-foot office building located in Alpharetta’s Royal 400 Office Park.

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Velocis Sells 175,268 SF Office Building in Scottsdale to City Office REIT

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — Velocis, a private equity real estate fund manager, has completed the disposition of Camelback Square, an office building located in Old Town Scottsdale. City Office REIT acquired the property for an undisclosed price.

Located at 6991 E. Camelback Road, the three-story asset features 175,268 square feet of Class A office space. At the time of sale, the property was 84 percent leased to a variety of tenants, including Digital Airstrike, Zocdoc, Regus and Echo.

Velocis acquired the building in 2015 and completed a total repositioning of the property. Renovations included a new tenant lounge, upgrades to corridors, elevator lobby refresh, new roof, restroom improvements and a new conference center.

Barry Gabel, Chris Marchildon and Will Mast of CBRE Capital Markets, Institutional Properties in Phoenix, represented the seller in the deal.

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CREC, Velocis Add Anchor Tenant to WPB Office Tower

CREC and Velocis have signed a 25,000-square-foot lease with Intech Investment Management as the anchor tenant at One Clearlake Centre, a LEED Silver-certified office tower in downtown West Palm Beach, Fla. Intech plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to the 221,079-square-foot property in September 2019.

The investment management firm will occupy the top two floors at One Clearlake Centre. The deal also includes building exterior signage for Intech. Following its long-term tenancy, the company is downsizing and leaving behind 50,000 square feet at CityPlace Tower, according to Yardi Matrix.

Located at 250 S. Australia Ave., One Clearlake Centre was completed in 1986 and is undergoing an expansive renovation program. The multi-million refurbishment includes new lobby areas, corridors and bathrooms, conference center and gym, a creative tenant lounge and CREC’s wellness program known as Deeper Breath. The property also features a five-story, 662-space parking garage.

Occupancy on the rise

Current ownership acquired the 19-story building in July 2017, when the property was 47 percent leased. The addition of Intech brings the property’s occupancy rate to 68 percent. One Clearlake Centre, one of the tallest buildings in the market, is close to the area’s numerous restaurants, entertainment and shopping venues such as Clematis Street and CityPlace. Additionally, TriRail and the recently constructed Brightline station are also nearby.

“Intech truly scrutinized all of their viable options and conducted an intense broad property sweep before they made the decision to select One Clearlake Centre as their new corporate headquarters,” Carol Greenberg Brooks, president & co-founder of CREC, said in prepared remarks. CREC also oversees leasing and management services at the property.

“As we continue to implement our repositioning strategy, we anticipate that leasing momentum will remain strong as tenants continue to flock to downtown West Palm Beach,” added Mike Lewis, principal at Velocis.

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SoFla lease roundup: Intech leaving CityPlace West Palm for One Clearlake Centre & more

Global investment management firm Intech is making a big transfer.

The company is planning to move its headquarters out of Related Companies’ CityPlace Tower and into the 221,000-square-foot One Clearlake Centre office high-rise in West Palm Beach.

Intech inked a 25,000-square-foot lease and will be filling up the tower’s top two-floors, according to a press release. The deal also gives the company exterior signage. The firm, which has about $50 billion under its management, is scheduled to occupy its new space by September 2019.

The lease brings the 19-story office tower at 250 South Australian Avenue to 68 percent leased, with asking rents in the tower ranging from $40 per square foot to $45 per square foot, CREC’s leasing director Mark Goldstein said. Other tenants in the building include Richman Greer law firm, Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC, BB&T, Prudential and Northwestern Mutual.

Built in 1986, One Clearlake Centre includes a five-story, 662-space parking garage. CREC’s Carol Greenberg Brooks, Goldstein and Robert Dabrowski oversee leasing and management of the property.

Velocis, a private equity real estate manager, paid $42.3 million for the property in July with CREC. The joint venture invested millions into renovating the building, including revamping its lobby areas, corridors and bathrooms. The partnership also added a creative tenant lounge and offers tenants a new wellness program.

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Velocis Sells 152,935 SF Office Complex in Metro Atlanta to Simpson Organization

ALPHARETTA, GA. — Dallas-based Velocis, a private equity real estate manager, has completed the disposition of Royal Centre One, a Class A office complex located in Alpharetta, a northern suburb of Atlanta. The Simpson Organization acquired the property for an undisclosed price.

Situated within the master-planned Royal 400 office park, the asset features 152,935 square feet of office space across multiple buildings spanning 12 acres along the Georgia 400 corridor. Velocis originally acquired the property in 2013 and has raised occupancy from 53 percent to just under 80 percent, at the time of sale. Samir Idris, David Meline, Andy Johns, Stewart Calhoun and Casey Masters of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the deal.

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Intech leaving CityPlace for location in One Clearlake Centre

Intech, the longtime anchor tenant of the luxury CityPlace Tower office building, confirmed it plans to move to One Clearlake Centre, west of downtown West Palm Beach.

The deal, in the works for some time and first reported last November, would free up 50,000 square feet of arguably the best office space downtown.

That soon-to-be empty space will be an indicator of whether downtown really needs more luxury office space.

“It’ll be a big test,” said Kelly Smallridge, president of the county’s Business Development Board, the county’s chief recruitment arm.

“It’s very desirable space,” Smallridge said. “I don’t think it’s going to be empty that long. Everybody keeps complaining there isn’t enough office space. And (this amount of) space hasn’t come on the market in a long time.”

Intech’s 17th and 18th floors at CityPlace Tower feature water views and lots of luxury finishes.

Justin Wright, Intech’s chief operating officer and general counsel, said Intech is making the move to One Clearlake next summer for a couple of reasons.

One Clearlake Centre, at 250 South Australian Ave. offers Intech employees, clients and visitors easy access to and from Interstate 95, Palm Beach International Airport, and commuter trains, he said. An added bonus, he said, is that there aren’t any train crossing gates to worry about when heading to the building.

One Clearlake also offers Intech a dedicated generator, which allows Intech to run its business even if power is out in West Palm Beach, as can be the case during hurricane season.

Intech is taking One Clearlake’s top two floors totalling about 25,000 square feet, half the size of its existing office.

The rent is less expensive, too: Rents at One Clearlake are about $26 a square foot, not including about $15 per square foot for taxes, maintenance and insurance. CityPlace Tower, on the other hand, commands rents starting in the mid-$40 per square foot range, plus another $20 for common area maintenance, real estate brokers said.

Intech, the money management firm now owned by Janus Henderson Global Investors, was the signature tenant that first kicked off leasing when the 18-story CityPlace Tower opened in 2008. Intech moved to the tower’s penthouse floors, which are connected via an internal staircase, from a location in Palm Beach Gardens.

Now Intech’s hop over to One Clearlake could raise the profile of this older office tower. The building last year sold for $42 million to Velocis, a private equity real estate manager, in partnership with CREC, a Miami-based real estate company.

In recent months, city and business officials have said there’s a strong need for more space to accommodate businesses wanting to be downtown.

In fact, city commissioners recently approved a new office building plan by the Related Cos. to build a waterfront office tower.

The 275,000-square-foot tower, dubbed One Flagler, will be built next to the First Church of Christ, Scientist along Flagler Drive. At 25 stories, the tower will have soaring views of the Intracoastal, Palm Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

The public was divided over the project. While some residents extolled the tower’s design and need, others decried the building’s construction on waterfront land that city residents twice voted to keep only five stories.

Brokers throughout the city say demand for new office space isn’t as robust as city leaders and some developers say it is. In fact, many brokers say potential tenants new to the market mostly want small blocks of space, up to about 5,000 square feet.

If built, it’s unclear how quickly One Flagler will fill up, especially since Related Co.’s Ken Himmel said rents will top $50 a square foot, not including another $25 to $30 a square foot in taxes, insurance and maintenance.

But Himmel is optimistic, saying that many tenants own homes in Palm Beach and want to do business in the area. Potential tenants include financial services companies, private equity firms, hedge funds, family offices and wealth management firms, he said.

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Velocis Buys Prince George’s County Retail Center, Its 5th D.C.-Area Acquisition Since 2015

Velocis has acquired its fifth D.C.-area property since 2015, and its first retail asset, with the purchase of a Prince George’s County shopping center.

The Dallas-based investor, in partnership with Katz Properties, announced this week it acquired Brandywine Crossing, a 230K SF retail center, for an undisclosed price.

The NKF Capital Markets team of Robert Griffin, Geoffrey Millerd, Mat Adler, Christian Brannelly and Chris Huesgen brokered the deal on behalf of the seller, which property records show is an LLC registered to Chicago-based ShopCore Properties. NKF’s Joe Donato and Maury Zanoff arranged financing for the buyer.

“We received significant interest from both banks and life companies given the strong national tenant roster,” Donato said in a release. “Rapid population increases within the trade area and experienced sponsorship have generated positive attention toward the asset.”

The shopping center at 15922 Crain Highway in Brandywine, Maryland, is anchored by Safeway and Marshalls and sits next to Target and Costco. The retail hub also includes a crafts store, a nail salon, a shoe store, a barber, an auto parts store and several food and beverage options.

“Brandywine Crossing represents an opportunity to acquire a grocery-anchored shopping center in a burgeoning community near Washington, D.C,” Velocis partner Paul Smith said in a release. “Acquiring assets in this metro area is an integral part of Velocis’ investment strategy.”

Velocis earlier this month acquired the two-building Greensboro Park office complex in Tysons. It began its D.C.-area buying spree in August 2015 with the purchase of Loudoun Gateway II and III. It then bought Shirlington Tower in December 2015 and acquired a Falls Church office property in March 2017.

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Velocis, Altus Buy 500 KSF DC-Area Office Campus

Velocis has expanded its footprint in suburban Washington, D.C., with the acquisition of Greensboro Park, an approximately 500,000-square-foot office campus in Tysons, Va. The private equity real estate manager partnered with Altus Realty on the purchase of the two-tower property from Beacon Capital. At the time of sale, the complex was 83 percent leased.

Occupying seven acres in the coveted The Hill micro-market roughly 15 miles outside Washington, D.C., Greensboro Park sits within walking distance of a Metro station and the 800,000-square-foot Tysons Galleria regional shopping mall. The complex consists of the 243,500-square-foot building at 8180 Greensboro Drive, which also includes 2,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, and the 259,400-square-foot structure at 8200 Greensboro Drive. Developed in the 1980s, Greensboro Park underwent a renovation in 2015.

“Greensboro Park represented a rare chance to acquire two assets that checked most of our boxes: solid in-place income, a bit of vacant space, rents that have room to increase within our competitive subset, and great walkability,” Paul Smith, principal with Velocis, told Commercial Property Executive. Greensboro Park offers additional upside potential, as the property has been approved for the development of two high-rises that could accommodate up to 520 multifamily units.

Velocis and Altus have tapped commercial real estate services firm JLL to manage the property.

Northern Virginia expansion

Greensboro Park marks Velocis’ fourth office purchase in Northern Virginia. In 2015, the company acquired Shirlington Tower in Arlington, a 233,500-square-foot office asset, as well as the two-building, 180,000-square-foot Loudon Gateway II & III in Sterling. Greenberg enhanced its presence in the area again last year, snapping up the 191,400-square-foot property at 3120 Fairview Park in Falls Church. “The Northern Virginia market is very efficient and competitive, and we have been very careful to build our portfolio there over the past three years,” Smith noted.

Tysons has been of particular interest to the company. “We have reviewed a number of quality opportunities in Tysons over the past few years as that submarket has begun to mature into a true live-work-play environment,” he added. “On most of those assets, pricing was very aggressive, and the deals were priced to core levels.”

The parties involved in the Greensboro Park transaction are remaining mum on the sale price. Beacon Capital, which was represented in the transaction by commercial real estate services firm CBRE, had owned the asset since acquiring it from Lehman Brothers in 2010 for approximately $125.3 million.

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Velocis, Altus Realty Acquire 2-Building Tysons Office Complex

A joint venture of Dallas-based Velocis and D.C.-based Altus Realty has just acquired a Tysons office complex.

The partnership bought Greensboro Park, a two-building, 505K SF office property at 8180 and 8200 Greensboro Drive, from Beacon Capital Partners for an undisclosed price. CBRE represented the seller in the deal.

Beacon acquired Greensboro Park in 2010 for $125M, according to property records. It then completed renovations in 2015 and brought the property to 83% leased.

Velocis and Altus also plan to renovate the property with upgrades to the building lobbies, common areas, restroom and green space. The new owners retained JLL to manage the property.

Greensboro Park, featuring an 11-story building and a 14-story tower, sits about a half-mile from the Greensboro Metro Station, where construction is underway on The Boro, a major mixed-use development that will bring amenities such as a Whole Foods and a ShowPlace Icon Theatre. The property is also less than a half-mile from the Tysons Galleria mall.

The Meridian Group, which is partnering with Kettler on The Boro, in April sold a majority stake of the the nearby Greensboro Station office complex. A JV of MetLife and Mubadala Investment bought 95% of the three-building property for $244M.

The deal represents the fourth major acquisition Velocis has made in the D.C. area in the last three years. It acquired Loudoun Gateway II and III in August 2015, Shirlington Tower in December 2015 and a Falls Church office building in March 2017.

­“Velocis has been looking at a number of assets in various parts of Tysons Corner to help augment our D.C.-area portfolio,” Velocis Principal Paul Smith said in a release. “We are excited to partner with Altus Realty on Greensboro Park as the buildings represent solid in-place cash flow with the ability to add value. We feel that the submarket around The Boro will continue to experience strong momentum in both leasing activity and rent appreciation.”

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Velocis Sells Two-Bldg. Office Complex in Houston’s Hedwig Village

189,000-SF Echo Lane Trades at Nearly 100% Occupied

Velocis, a private equity real estate manager out of Dallas, has sold the Echo Lane office complex in Houston’s Hedwig Village to 800 Builders. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Velocis paid $30 million back in 2012 to acquire the 189,162-square-foot, two-building complex at 950 and 952 Echo Lane. In the five years since acquiring the property, Velocis was able to raise occupancy from 83 percent to 97 percent and increased rental rates with “minimal investment,” Mike Lewis, a partner with Velocis, said in a company release.

The two properties were constructed between 1982 and 1984 on 3.8 acres. Current tenants at Echo Lane include Regus, Sidewinder Drilling and Stonegate Production, among others, according to CoStar information.

Kevin McConn, Rick Goings and Rudy Hubbard of JLL represented the seller, while the buyer had in-house representation.

Please see CoStar COMP #4277965 for more information on this transaction.

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