“Darth Vader Building” in Downtown WPB Sells for $98M

CBRE brokered the sale of the Class A, 294,000-square-foot office tower that last traded in 2016. Northbridge Centre underwent complete renovations worth $15 million.
Northbridge Centre
Northbridge Centre. Image courtesy of Crocker Partners

Crocker Partners and Greenfield Partners have sold Northbridge Centre in downtown West Palm Beach, Fla. Locals refer to the 294,000-square-foot office tower as the “Darth Vader Building” due to its black glass exterior. Vanderbilt Office Properties and C-III Capital Partners purchased the Class A asset for $98 million, with CBRE’s Chris Lee and Jose Lobon brokering the transaction.

According to Yardi Matrix data, the sale was subject to an $84 million loan originated by Blackstone Group. The property last sold in 2016 for $68.2 million, when the joint venture acquired the office building using a $56.8 million first mortgage loan originated by Mesa West Capital’s New York office. 

Located at 515 N. Flagler Drive, at the base of the recently renovated Flagler Memorial Bridge, Northbridge Centre provides easy access to Interstate 95 and the island of Palm Beach. The immediate area holds numerous shopping, dining and entertainment venues, with the Palm Beach International Airport just 4.6 miles southwest of the property. Built in 1985, the 21-story office tower has an adjoining four-story pavilion and includes 7,200 square feet of retail space, per Yardi Matrix data. The building is also LEED-certified and has a parking ratio of three spaces per 1,000 square feet.

Class A repositioning

The property underwent complete renovations in 2017. The $15 million upgrades included a new conference center, café and barista bar, the development of spec suites and improvements to the common areas and lobby. According to Brett Reese, senior vice president at Crocker Partners, the improvement program brought top tier tenants to the tower and rental rates grew from $20 to $42 per square feet in three years. Northbridge Centre is currently 80.2 percent leased, according to Yardi Matrix. Tenants include Quest Workspaces, Global Trust and Wells Fargo.

In May, a joint venture led by Vanderbilt Office Properties acquired another office asset in West Palm Beach. The 139,471-square-foot property situated within Vista Center commanded $40 million.