Cross-Border Buyers Acquire 400 KSF Cincinnati Office Campus
- Jun 11, 2020
London-based 90 North Real Estate Partners has acquired the approximately 400,300-square-foot Ensemble Health Partners headquarters property in Blue Ash, Ohio. In its role as investment advisor to Kuwait-based Rasameel Investment Co., 90 North purchased the Cincinnati-area office complex from a local developer.
While 90 North has not publicly disclosed the purchase price of Ensemble’s home base at 11311 Reed Hartman Highway, Hamilton County records indicate that the 51.3-acre site traded for $19.5 million. Ensemble, which inked a new long-term, net lease agreement with the new ownership, makes its home on what had been the west campus of the former 132-acre Procter & Gamble Sharon Woods Innovation Center. The medical billing management company’s headquarters benefited from a custom redevelopment over the last 12 months and now features an approximately 390,100-square-foot main building that includes 75,000 square feet of newly added space, as well as an additional 10,200-square-foot structure that will be transformed into a conference center. “The quality of construction and atmosphere adds significantly to the real and perceived value of the property now and in the future,” Martin Ahern, senior vice president, Acquisitions, with 90 North Real Estate Partners, told Commercial Property Executive.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Michael Sullivan and Thomas Powers marketed the Ensemble campus and represented both buyer and seller in the transaction. 90 North was attracted to the asset for a number of reasons. “Ensemble’s strong growth plan coupled with the long-term commitment to the property had us excited about the deal. And to help matters, the asset has direct access to Sharon Woods Park, which offers an abundance of green space to go along with the property being expanded and completely redeveloped in a first-class manner,” Ahern said. “Finally, the Blue Ash submarket is one of the most sought after, with neighboring tenants that include Microsoft, IBM, and Toyota. The redevelopment of the property and the presence of Ensemble only enhance that positioning.”
90 North and Rasameel were only in the due diligence stage of the Ensemble headquarters deal when COVID-19 took hold in the U.S., but the partners were undeterred by the ensuing uncertainty. “[Rasameel] never wavered and were committed to closing the transaction while operating under unique circumstances,” noted Ahern. “The view was we were confident in the deal and the U.S. when we secured the asset and remain confident in both Ensemble and infrastructure in the U.S. long term.”
Although the level of cross-border investment in the long-coveted U.S. commercial real estate market declined in 2019, the region’s status as a solid go-to for foreign investment dollars has not waned amid the global spread of the coronavirus. “We hear the same sentiments from other investors and investment partners who see past the pandemic and still view the U.S. as a premier place to invest in commercial real estate,” Ahern added. “We are living in very interesting times, whether you consider the pandemic, the upcoming election, social issues, as well as the financial turbulence that we’ve seen. In spite of all that, the U.S. continues to be viewed as an attractive destination for foreign investment capital.”