Charlotte Office Tower Sells for Tidy Sum

The Charlotte office market is growing hotter and hotter.
101 Independence Center Charlotte - 1

Acting on behalf of KBS Real Estate Investment Trust and asset manager Gramercy Property Trust Inc., commercial real estate and capital markets services provider HFF has orchestrated the sale of 101 Independence Center, a 565,700-square-foot office tower in downtown Charlotte, N.C. The buyer, a joint venture between LRC Properties L.L.C. and an undisclosed institutional capital source, shelled out $108 million for the unencumbered Class A asset.

The Charlotte office market is growing hotter and hotter, and properties like 101 Independence are highly coveted among the investment community, which expressed strong interest in the 20-story building.

Ryan Clutter, HFF

Ryan Clutter, HFF

“Charlotte is a really fast-growing market with lot of job growth and population growth so given the dynamics, institutional capital is eager to buy property in the market,” Ryan Clutter, senior managing director with HFF, told Commercial Property Executive. “They see the job growth, and with job growth comes more demand for office and increased rents.”

It’s more than the typical office property. Developed in 1983 on nearly two acres at 101 N. Tryon St., 101 Independence features 30,000 square feet of retail space and a three-story atrium linking it to the 451-room Charlotte Center City Marriott. The asset also includes a connected 320-space underground parking facility and an adjacent 268-space parking lot. Today, the building, which was extensively renovated in 2001, is 82.2 percent leased, with the likes of Bank of America and Northeastern University gracing the tenant roster. Clutter said, “It’s located at Trade and Tryon streets, Charlotte’s main intersection, it has great amenities–it’s a solid building.”

101 Independence’s sale price amounts to approximately $190 per square-foot, a figure that’s notably higher than the average sale price of approximately $175 per square-foot for office assets in Charlotte in 2014, according to research by real estate investment services firm Marcus & Millichap. “The price would have been higher; there are some tenants with below-market rents, but that presents an opportunity to lease up at higher rates,” Clutter added.