AEW Takes Florida Tower from J.P. Morgan

After four months of negotiations, Cushman & Wakefield in Florida has reported the finalization of the sale of an office tower in Coral Gables to the Boston-based institutional pension fund advisor, AEW Capital Management. Cushman & Wakefield represented the former owner of the property, J.P. Morgan Investment Management. The property is a Class A office building at 355 Alhambra Circle. No terms were made public. However, sources say it was a cash equity transaction of $87 million, making it $387 a square foot. That price is competitive with recent deals in the area. About a month ago, the highest sales price for an office building this year was the $114 million deal made for 1401 Brickell in Miami’s financial district. And the BAC-Collonades at 2333 Ponce de Leon Blvd which is also in Coral Gables, sold for almost $90 million. The office tower is 224,000 square feet and an 16 stories tall, and less than a mile from Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, Fla. The building is currently almost 100 percent occupied.Jay Caplin, Mark Gilbert, Adam Feinstein and Eric Williams of the Cushman & Wakefield capital markets group represented J.P. Morgan in the deal. This is the second purchase in the Coral Gables area in the past few years for AEW. They also bought from J.P. Morgan a property at 550 Biltmore Way, in 2004. Jay Caplin, Mark Gilbert, Adam Feinstein and Eric Williams, of the Cushman & Wakefield Capital Markets Group, represented J.P. Morgan in the deal. The property property at 660 Biltmore Way sold for about $34 million, says Jay Caplin, executive director capital markets group. Caplin told CPN , “I was also involved in that deal, and this, too, is a meaningful transaction, proving that in spite of the economy, Coral Gables is still a very strong market, and very appealing to investors.” He added that there are various reasons for this, “not the least of which is that there is minimal construction planned for Coral Gables over the next several years. The demographics in and around Coral Gables are outstanding. It abuts many prominent areas that house executive decision makers, and on top of that, the city itself is a terrific base of amenities and hotels and retail stores, a .self-contained very well rounded and high quality area.”\Another impetus sparking interest in Coral Gables , compared with downtown Miami, is that starting around 2010, three buildings are slated to begin construction of 1.9 million square feet total, which represents several years of absorption for that market. “So there is concern about over building in downtown,” he noted, adding, “But I think this sale is proof that this doesn’t spill over into Coral Gables and that two are seeing a level of resiliency.” Moreover, there are further signs that show the high quality property is still very much in demand in the area, he observed. In addition to 355 Alhambra , ING Clarion, another institutional owner, purchased BAC-Collonade, and in the next 30 days or so, USAA is expecting to close on one of the Crescent/Morgan Stanley properties, also on Alhambra Circle. “And what’s significant about that is that,” he said, is that, “like AEW, they already own a property in the same submarket. So that makes two for AEW, and two for USAA…and that confirms that they are pleased with the market. This is really a strong trend, for someone to double down on such a substantial investment.”