Office investment and management expert Lincoln Property Company (LPC) and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (Oaktree) have completed the $58 million purchase of Biltmore Commerce Center, a Class A, institutional-quality office building located in the heart of Phoenix’s coveted Camelback Corridor.
The acquisition represents LPC’s second transaction in a partnership with Oaktree that has generated $102 million in metro Phoenix deal activity in a 60-day timeframe. These deals include the $58 million Biltmore Commerce Center acquisition and the $42.3 million, mid-February disposition of Camelback Square, a 174,917-square-foot, Class A office asset in Old Town Scottsdale. It also increases LPC’s Phoenix investment activity to more than $165 million in the last 60 days.
Located at 3200 E. Camelback Rd., on the northeast corner of Camelback Road and 32nd Street in Phoenix’s prominent Camelback Corridor, Biltmore Commerce Center is known for its copper metallic exterior and highly visible, street-facing water feature. The project totals three stories and 259,000 square feet, with efficient floorplates, ample above- and below-ground parking, and an 11,000-square-foot, newly remodeled three-story atrium running through the interior first floor.
The property is currently 93 percent leased to a diversified group of established tenants including HDR Engineering, Lee & Associates, United Way, Greystar, North American Title Company and Miller Russell & Associates.
“Phoenix has the lifestyle, the labor and the commercial real estate to generate upside value, drive demand and respond to tenant needs at almost any point of the real estate cycle,” said Lincoln Property Company’s Executive Vice President David Krumwiede, who directed the Biltmore Commerce Center investment purchase. “It’s an exciting dynamic to work in, particularly when you have a team that can see potential at any given point in the cycle, and use their investment, development and management skills to build on that potential. It leads to a lot of opportunity in many venues, including this latest, great portfolio addition.”
“One of the many strengths of Biltmore Commerce Center is the subterranean parking, which provides quick and direct access to all tenant floors via two separate elevator banks,” said Mark Jacobs, Managing Director with Oaktree Capital Management. “Tenants can go from their car to their office in less than 60 seconds, compared to five or 10 minutes for most buildings within the submarket. In addition, the location offers great visibility while providing quick and easy access without the high traffic congestion that other projects often experience.”
Additional project renovations and features include remodeled corridors and lobbies, upgraded landscaping and the new street-facing water feature. The property has earned an average 94-point Energy Star rating over the past six years. In 2012, it was named The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA).
“The atrium has always been a unique element of the project, but has become even more valuable following a recent renovation that transformed it into a modern, collaborative space,” said Lincoln Property Company’s Vice President Amr Ceran. “The new atrium has stylish seating areas, a café and community tables, docking stations and water features. Its inviting character provides the opportunity for clients and team members to meet, for tenants to hold events, and an area where employees can relax. It’s one of the nicest spaces of its kind in Phoenix.”
Biltmore Commerce Center sits across the street from two retail projects with numerous dining, shopping and banking options, including Central Bistro, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Mexx 32, Tarbell’s, Tommy V’s Osteria and Pizzeria, Tomaso’s and Hava Java Café. It is within one mile of the upscale, 600,000-square-foot Biltmore Fashion Park and the Arizona Biltmore Hotel and golf resort.
“This makes for a commanding asset that, with smart management, will only continue to grow in value and prestige – both for the ownership team and the tenants who lease here,” said Krumwiede.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Chris Toci, Chad Littell, Jerry Noble, Pat Devine and Greg Mayer represented the property seller, a venture between DPC Development Company and Bridge Investment Group. LPC Director of Management Services Alisa Timm will direct the project’s property management strategy.
According to Cushman & Wakefield data, the Camelback Corridor submarket posted 358,368 square feet of leasing activity in 2014, with projects in the area experiencing record high lease rates and, in the case of the Camelback Corridor, sustaining double-digit rent growth.