Vanderbilt Pays $40M for West Palm Beach Asset

Emerald View at Vista Center is a recently renovated, 139,471-square-foot office property and part of a 500-acre, master-planned business park.
Emerald View at Vista Center. Image courtesy of KBS
Emerald View at Vista Center. Image courtesy of KBS

A partnership led by Vanderbilt Office Properties acquired Emerald View at Vista Center. KBS sold the 139,471-square-foot, two-building Class A office property in West Palm Beach, Fla., for $40 million.

“Emerald View was one of a few buildings developed in West Palm Beach to exceed hurricane requirements and provide 100 percent backup power for 25 days of ‘business as usual’ continuous operations,” Allen Aldridge, KBS’ senior vice president & asset manager of the property, told Commercial Property Executive. “This greatly differentiated the asset which quickly achieved 88 percent occupancy in a challenging 2011 market.”

The business park was part of the KBS Real Estate Investment Trust II Portfolio. Since acquiring the asset in 2010, the company did major renovations, enhancing the buildings’ common areas and lobbies.

“We built move-in ready spec suites and upgraded the common areas which allowed us to quickly stabilize the asset,” Aldridge said. “Additionally, through our focused tenant relations efforts, we successfully expanded and extended the anchor tenant, Oasis, for 10-years. They accounted for 41 percent of the property.” According to Aldridge, the property fit within the objectives of KBS, which is to focus on owning the best assets in growing markets with access to amenities both within the asset and surrounding area.

“Part of the decision to sell was the life cycle of this particular equity fund, coupled with where we were in the execution of our original business plan for the asset,” Aldridge said. “Market rents have recovered from the last recession and have been in an uptrend supported by a limited supply of new construction and growing employment numbers.”

A thriving business park

The property is situated within Vista Center, a 500-acre master-planned mixed-use development adjacent to Emerald Dunes Golf Club.  In addition, the asset is situated at the northwest quadrant of the Florida Turnpike and Okeechobee Boulevard and is conveniently located to retail, restaurants and hotels. 

“Location is the driving factor for KBS in evaluating and ultimately acquiring assets. We target locations with easy access to large employers and in most cases within walking distance to surrounding amenities,” Aldridge said. This was certainly the case with Emerald View, located within a park environment just off the intersection of Okeechobee and the Florida Turnpike, as several restaurants, a pharmacy, fitness center and gas station were located within walking distance to the buildings.  

CBRE’s Christian Lee, Jose Lobon, Kevin Probel, Kevin McCarthy and Tyler Ploshnick represented the seller in the transaction.

In May, KBS acquired the Offices at Riverpark, a Class A office building in Redmond, Wash., on behalf of a sovereign partner for $48.1 million.