Corning Optical’s Charlotte HQ Sells for $59M

Beacon Capital Partners sold the property less than one year after completing the $38 million build-to-suit for the fiber optics solutions provider.
4200 Corning Place. Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

Beacon Capital Partners has sold the newly developed office property at 4200 Corning Place in Charlotte, N.C., in a $58.5 million, all-cash transaction. With the assistance of Cushman & Wakefield, Beacon secured an affiliate of Crown Realty & Development as a buyer for the approximately 182,200-square-foot building, which serves as the headquarters of Corning Optical Communications.

With Balfour Beatty aboard as general contractor, Beacon wrapped up development of 4200 Corning as a build-to-suit for Corning Optical at a cost of $38 million in the third quarter of 2019. Corning Optical, a fiber optics solutions provider and division of materials science innovation giant Corning Inc., occupies the property under a lease that is scheduled to expire in 2034.

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In marketing the asset for sale, Cushman & Wakefield welcomed a great deal of interest from the investment community and ultimately fielded 30 offers before selling to Crown. “Buyers were attracted to a number of things, including the strength of the tenant and its long-term commitment, and the quality of the building,” Rob Cochran, managing director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets group, told Commercial Property Executive. “The fact that Corning Optical is a tech tenant was a huge attraction as well.”

Corning Optical’s home occupies roughly 12 acres at the center of the 115-acre Riverbend Village mixed-use development in Northwest Charlotte. Gensler designed the LEED-qualified office property, which is clad in View Dynamic Glass smart window technology and metal panels to reflect the history Corning Optical parent company Corning Inc.’s nearly 170-year history in the glass industry. The building has the capacity to accommodate 650 employees, who can avail themselves of a long list of amenities that includes indoor and outdoor lounges, a café, on-site walking trails and a green roof with seating. Cochran noted, “It is one of the most technologically advanced buildings in Charlotte with amenities that employees demand.”

Charlotte’s Staying Power

It remains to be seen just how COVID-19 will impact the U.S. office sector over the long term, but Charlotte is poised to withstand challenges. And despite uncertainty amid the pandemic, investors remain keen on the city’s office market, as evidenced by the Corning Optical headquarters transaction, which traded at the local record-breaking sum of approximately $321 per square foot.

Top office transactions in the first quarter of 2020 included NorthPond Investors’ acquisition of the historic Latta Arcade Building for $7.9 million, or $269 per square foot, and South Street Partners’ purchase of Coliseum Centre 3, 5 & 6 for $102 million, or $208 per square foot. “Charlotte was and will be on the top of investors’ lists due to the diversity of the economy and its strong population and job growth,” said Cochran.