California teachers lose $132M in Palm Beach land sale

California Teachers Retirement System sold at a loss.

Here endeth the lesson.

The California Teachers Retirement System learned the hard way not to invest at the peak of a market, taking a $132 million loss on a vacant industrial property in Palm Beach County, according to a published report.

CalSTRS and First Industrial Property, operating through FR/CAL 3 South Florida LLC, recently sold the 537-acre First Park South Florida site for $29.85 million in five transactions, the South Florida Business Journal reported. The deal was brokered by CBRE’s Robert Smith, Jeffrey Kelly and Kirk Nelson, according to the paper.

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The sellers bought the site, formerly known as the Palm Beach Park of Commerce and the Florida Research Park, for $162 million in 2007.

“I guess they really wanted to get out,” Steve Garine, of S&K Worldwide Realty, who sold the property to CalSTRS, told the publication. “It takes a lot of money to carry the park. It’s a lot of taxes and a lot of management.”

The new owner is YTG Palm Beach, an affiliate of Atlanta-based TPA Group.  Atlantic Capital Bank wrote a $20 million mortgage that covered two properties in other counties, the paper reported. [South Florida Business Journal] — William J. Gorta

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