OA Development Acquires $31M Charlotte Office Portfolio

An HFF team paired properties from two sellers—ROC III Fairlead Imperial Center LLC and Crown Realty—to package four buildings involved in the transaction.
Canterbury Hall

OA Development has acquired the Imperial Center portfolio, a four-building complex of office buildings in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. HFF marketed the property on behalf of both sellers—ROC III Fairlead Imperial Center LLC and Crown Realty. The firm also procured the buyer. Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group secured the acquisition financing with SunTrust Bank. 

Comprised of a total of 211,308 square feet, the Canterbury, Cambridge, Chelsea and Oxford buildings offer a front-row spot in the centrally located Imperial Center office park. All four buildings are considered Class B and were originally constructed in the late ’80s. They are situated on 15 acres at the entrance of the campus, directly on Interstate 40 at Page Road and I-540.

“We’ve been involved in the Raleigh-Durham marketplace since 1998, which is when we built our first business there, and always thought highly of the area,” Steve Berman, OA’s founder, told Commercial Property Executive. “When this package became available, we were very intrigued by the idea of owning more space in Raleigh as it fit our investment profile.” Moreover, Berman noted, the company was attracted to the buildings being located in the 456-acre office park, which is an entry location that “can’t be beat,” he said. 

At the time of sale, the portfolio was 96.5 percent leased, with rents nearly 7 percent under market value. Its tenant roster includes companies from the STEM, healthcare and marketing industries.

Sound strategy

This marks the 20th commercial property that OA has acquired since 2009 and it now has a portfolio of approximately 3 million square feet. According to Berman, the company has made a concerted effort to buy existing office product in suburban markets, with good quality leases in place.

“When you look at these investments through multiple prisms, the one that’s usually most important to us is leasing velocity and how much activity there is in any given market,” Berman said. “We’re involved in Charlotte and Atlanta and we are familiar with how submarkets behave during different parts of the economic cycle, but we’ve seen this particular submarket display the most robust health.”

In March, OA Development acquired The Park-Huntersville portfolio, a 395,796-square-foot, five-building Class A portfolio in the heart of North Charlotte for $62.5 million, which is the largest multi-story suburban office portfolio in the supply-constrained Northeast/I-77 corridor. 

The Imperial Center remains an important suburban park in the area thanks to its proximity to the Research Triangle and RDU International Airport, historically known for outperforming much of the country. Although there is some new construction coming online in the area, rental rates are moving up and OA Development believes the rates will support it.

All four buildings have been well maintained by the prior owners, so at this point, OA Development has no plans to make any immediate changes or renovations, though things will be planned in the future. The HFF investment advisory team was made up of Scot Humphrey, Ryan Clutter and Chris Lingerfelt.

Image courtesy of Yardi Matrix