Upswing in Old Town Scottsdale: Velocis Purchases Camelback Square

Velocis, a private equity real estate fund, today announced the purchase of Camelback Square, a three-story Class-A office project in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona. The asset was previously owned by Lincoln Property Company (LPC), along with a fund managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (Oaktree).

The sale underscores the attractiveness of the project and Old Town Scottsdale.

“The Old Town Scottsdale office market is an extremely popular area that is experiencing steadily rising rents and values,” said Velocis Principal Paul Smith. “Camelback Square is our first acquisition in the Phoenix market, and one we hope to build on as we pursue additional assets in the Southwest region.”

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The project buyer, Dallas-based Velocis, has been active in real estate investment since 2011, purchasing 16 assets located in markets in Texas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. Velocis is led by a team of five seasoned principals who are directly responsible for the acquisition, asset management and disposition of assets.

LPC will continue to manage the property for the new owner.

“Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a strong tenant demand in Old Town Scottsdale due to the surrounding amenity base of high-end residential, luxury shopping, hotels and entertainment options,” said Oaktree Managing Director Mark Jacobs. “We believe the tenant demand will continue and are looking to make additional investments in Old Town Scottsdale along with other areas of Phoenix.”

The 174,917-square-foot Camelback Square is located at 6991 E. Camelback Rd., at the southwest corner of Camelback and Goldwater roads. It is currently 95 percent leased to tenants including Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse, ZocDoc, Regus, Ashton Woods, Echo Global Logistics and Digital Airstrike. The project’s on-site amenities include the award-winning Mastro’s (a top 10 steakhouse in the U.S.), a bistro, tenant collaboration space and common area Wi-Fi.

“Old Town Scottsdale is an example of the new creative office environment, with the amenities investors look for to deliver solid rent growth, rising values and strong tenants year after year,” said Lincoln Property Company’s Executive Vice President David Krumwiede, who completed the deal along with Vice President Amr Ceran. “We recognized this when we purchased Camelback Square almost four years ago, and that foundation is even more evident today – following the execution of a repositioning plan that re-energized this asset as a long term centerpiece project.”

LPC and Oaktree purchased Camelback Square out of special servicing in June 2011. Since that time, they have completed a major renovation including new building entrances, modern lobby and common area finishes, a courtyard water feature and patio furniture, and upgraded building signage. They also initiated an aggressive leasing plan that – in partnership with Bill Blake, Craig Coppola, Andrew Cheney, Colton Trauter and Gregg Kafka of Lee & Associates – moved the project from just 50 percent occupied to almost 100 percent occupied.

Barry Gabel, Chris Marchildon, Kevin Shannon, Ken White and Paul Jones of CBRE led the project’s investment sales listing campaign.

Camelback Square sits adjacent to the 2 million-square-foot Scottsdale Fashion Square regional shopping center featuring the state’s only Barney’s New York and Neiman Marcus. It is located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, a submarket that consistently attracts forward-thinking companies seeking the area’s contemporary mix of office, residential, dining, arts and entertainment destinations.

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