Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles and Prudential Real Estate Investors announced today the acquisition of 200 East Las Olas (also known as “New River Center” or the “Property”), a 20-story trophy Class A office tower located directly on Las Olas Boulevard in the heart of Fort Lauderdale’s bustling central business district. Developed by Stiles in 1990, this institutional quality asset is currently 86% leased and encompasses 281,713 rentable square feet of some of the most desirable office and ground-floor retail space in the vibrant South Florida region.
The Property was acquired from Invesco Ltd. for $108 million, or $383 per square foot, by a joint-venture between Stiles Property Fund (SPF) and PREI. SPF is a discretionary value-added real estate fund that invests in office and retail properties throughout Florida. PREI®, among the world’s largest real estate investment management and advisory businesses, is a business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU). New River Center was marketed through commercial real estate and capital markets services firm HFF, L.P. Hermen Rodriguez, senior managing director at HFF L.P., led the sale effort along with Ike Ojala, Jorge Portela and Tracey Goo.
“We are proud to once again partner with Prudential Real Estate Investors, one of the nation’s top commercial and residential investment groups,” said president of Stiles Doug Eagon. “As its original developer, we have come full circle with New River Center. Given our deep knowledge of the asset, the property’s upside potential and the robust market outlook, this acquisition fit well with our investment strategy.”
New River Center is positioned on 1.4 acres and includes unparalleled views of the New River and downtown Fort Lauderdale. The property consists of a 12-story office tower above an eight-story parking garage with 675 spaces, as well as nearly 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. It is currently leased to “blue chip” tenants, including: Fifth Third Bank; Akamai; Yum! Brands; Brinkley Morgan; and Stearns Weaver.
Following the acquisition, Stiles plans to implement its asset management best practices to drive further upside and additional synergies at New River Center. Stiles Leasing and Management will be engaged exclusively to handle the asset.
“The opportunity for SPF to acquire prime office real estate on Las Olas Boulevard with upside potential made this investment very attractive,” said SPF Fund Manager Kyle Jones. “We are looking forward to executing our business plan and creating further value at the Property utilizing Stiles’ diverse range of services.”
While Stiles has a long history of real estate transactions, New River Center is the first office transaction the Company has made through SPF, which it launched in 2011. Previous SPF acquisitions have targeted retail shopping centers throughout Florida and have included: Ormond Beach Mall, a 102,170-square-foot Publix grocery-anchored center in Ormond Beach; Market at Southside, a 95,135-square-foot center in Orlando; the former PGA Design Center, a 145,500-square-foot mixed-use property in Palm Beach Gardens; and Galleria Plaza, a 29,443-square-foot center in one of the most visible and affluent retail corridors of Fort Lauderdale.
According to Eagon, Stiles remains very active in Broward and especially the central business district of Fort Lauderdale, which is characterized by an urban lifestyle that has helped to drive concentrated growth in the downtown area.
“The 24/7 environment in downtown Fort Lauderdale is contributing to a thriving market with strong employment growth and lower vacancy rates,” commented Eagon. “Most of the new jobs being created are in the downtown urban areas of South Florida, including Brickell Avenue and Coral Gables.”
Stiles track record on Las Olas goes back to 1951 when the company was first established. Stiles has since developed 43 million square feet of real estate throughout Florida and more than 3.5 million square feet of projects in downtown Fort Lauderdale with uses ranging from office and retail to residential and associated parking. Responding to market demand for urban living, Stiles is currently underway with an ultra-luxury 254-unit apartment high-rise one-block from Las Olas Boulevard.