Harbor Group Lists Former BP Tower, Invests in Cleveland Real Estate

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Harbor Group International L.L.C. has been actively trading Cleveland real estate lately.  The Norfolk-based company has acquired a parking garage and is trying to sell one of the city’s most dominant skyscrapers. Once known as BP Tower, the [...]

Harbor Group International L.L.C. has been actively trading Cleveland real estate lately.  The Norfolk-based company has acquired a parking garage and is trying to sell one of the city’s most dominant skyscrapers.

Once known as BP Tower, the skyscraper was constructed in 1985 and was supposed to house BP America’s North American headquarters. It extends 45 stories, or 658 feet,  holds 1.2 million square feet of office space and has its own parking garage, with 757 spaces. The property is across Public Square from the iconic Terminal Tower and near the old Higbee department store.

Harbor bought the building, at 200 Public Square, in 2005 for $141 million. Now the real estate company is offering a 1.2 million-square-foot building that is 90 percent leased to long-term tenants. CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. is marketing the property. No listing price has been mentioned yet because HGI is not in a hurry to sell. However, it will surely be more than they paid for it.

And just as Harbor Group is preparing to sell one property, it is buying a nearby parking garage for $8.2 million. It was the winning bidder last week during a bankruptcy court auction of the 524-space parking garage at 515 Euclid Ave.

The 515 Euclid garage was completed in 2005 and cost more than $25 million to build. Hilco Real Estate of Northbrook, Ill., was advertising the property with air rights to build a 14-story tower, originally envisioned as a condominium building, on top of the garage. The owner, AmFin Real Estate Investments Inc., is an arm of AmTrust Financial Corp., the bankrupt former parent of AmTrust Bank.

Harbor Group entered an initial bid of $7.5 million for the 524-space garage. But that was a stalking horse bid; if the company had lost, it would have been paid 3 percent of the purchase price.

With a portfolio worth $3 billion, Harbor Group International has been acquiring real estate properties since 1990. The firm provides real estate management and investment services and owns 14 million square feet of office, retail, hotel and multi-family property.