1 MSF Suburban New Orleans Office Property Changes Hands for $150M

Lakeway Center, a 1.2 million-square-foot office property in Metairie, La., just outside of New Orleans, has come under new ownership.

Photo: Kenneth Berke

Lakeway Center, a 1.2 million-square-foot office property in Metairie, La., just outside of New Orleans, has come under new ownership. The Feil Organization now calls the asset its own, having purchased the three-building complex from Equity Office Properties for a rumored sum of roughly $150 million.

Commercial real estate and capital markets services provider HFF orchestrated the sale of Lakeway Center on behalf of EOP, which had owned the premier office buildings since late 1993. Investors took note when the complex became available.

“While there are a handful of properties on the market that are candidates for adaptive re-use development, the true Class A assets do not regularly trade and as such, when they are marketed for sale, they typically attract strong interest,” Andrew Levy, senior managing director with HFF, told Commercial Property Executive.

Carrying addresses on Causeway Blvd., along Lake Pontchartrain, the Lakeway Center towers sprouted up between 1981 and 1987, and all three underwent renovations in 1996. Today the complex is 90.5 percent leased, with such names as People’s Health Network and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration taking up space on the tenant roster. Feil plans to upgrade Lakeway Center to ensure that the property–one of the largest office developments in the State of Louisiana–maintains its sheen.

It’s no Manhattan, but the New Orleans office market is certainly moving up investors’ radar. “Although still considered a secondary market, New Orleans office properties are attracting a significant amount of private and institutional capital from outside of the region,” Levy said. “The market offers investors a higher return than what they would typically expect from a comparable asset in a primary market and the office market is on extremely solid footing given the high existing occupancy in the Class A properties, strong job growth and lack of new construction on the horizon.”