Cole Nabs Six Properties in Two-Day, $119.6M Buying Spree

On Tuesday, Cole nabbed three Florida shopping centers totaling $48.5 million, followed by Wednesday's inking of a $71.1 million deal for an office complex, industrial food-distribution space and a healthcare facility.

While most of the country is busy working on tans and summer vacations, Cole Real Estate investments is busy snapping up office, industrial and retail space. On Tuesday, the investment firm nabbed three Florida shopping centers totaling $48.5 million, followed by Wednesday’s inking of a $71.1 million deal for an office complex, industrial food-distribution space and a healthcare facility. Calling the deals a big win, Robert Micera, chief investment officer of office and industrial for Cole, said the properties will fit “in our expanding portfolio of core ‘necessity corporate’ assets. “

The shopping centers include Nature Coast Commons, a Tampa-based a 226,000-square-foot complex constructed in 2009; Century Town Center, a 107,000-square-foot center built in 2008 near the center of the Vero Beach area, which is on the Atlantic coast 80 miles north of West Palm Beach; and Riverside Center in St. Augustine, with a main anchor store of a 57,000-square-foot Hobby Lobby.

The star of the purchases, though, is the single-tenant, 116,000-square-foot Banner Life Insurance Company headquarters in Urbana, MD, which was purchased for $38.2 million. The property is located between the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metro areas. The $28.5-million ConAgra Foods asset is a 719,000-square-foot single-tenant warehouse and distribution building located in Milton, PA, and the healthcare facility, St. Luke’s Urgent Care in Creve Coeur, MO, a western suburb of St. Louis, is a $5.4-million facility that was build-to-suit for the hospital in 2010.

While the acquisitions this week were hefty, they represent only a small slice of Cole’s nearly $8 billion in invested real estate.

Scott Holmes, vice president of multi-tenant acquisitions for Cole, saw the purchases as strategic fits for the firm. “With nationally recognized, creditworthy tenants and limited competition in the area, these assets fit the investment criteria for our expanding, diversified portfolio of retail assets,” he said of the Florida buys.