For-profit prison company pays $9.9M for Boca land

An aerial view of the land at 4955 Technology Way
An aerial view of the land at 4955 Technology Way

UPDATED March 11 4:15 p.m.: An affiliate of the Geo Group, a multinational builder and operator of prisons, just paid $9.9 million for a piece of vacant land in Boca Raton where the company plans to build its new corporate headquarters.

The land, sized at 4.4 acres, is located at 4955 Technology Way next to an existing 108,550-square-foot office building.

It’s been owned for the last six years by Malcolm Butters of the Butters Group in Coconut Creek and Leon Wildstein of Wildstein Investments, based in Canada.

The two paid $2.1 million for the land in 2010, according to Palm Beach County records. Late last year, Butters and the Morlin Hospitality Group announced they were seeking approvals to build a Hyatt House Hotel on the site, according to the South Florida Business Journal

This week, a company called Geo Correction Holdings purchased the land for just under $10 million. State corporate records show Geo is operated by the same principals as the Geo Group, a massive multinational operator and builder of corrections facilities. The for-profit company operates facilities in the U.S., Australia, South America and the United Kingdom, according to its website.

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Malcolm Butters, head of the Butters Group, told The Real Deal that it made economic sense to sell the land instead of developing it.

“As they say in the Godfather, they made us an offer we couldn’t refuse,” Butters said.

Butters and Morlin Hospitality are still interested in building a Hyatt and are looking to close on a new site in Boca Raton for the hotel, hopefully within the next 60 days, he said.

According to a LoopNet listing for the land, the land sold to Geo is “permit ready and site plan approved” for a 108,000-square-foot office project similar to the existing Corporate Center building next door.

Geo plans to build a new corporate headquarters for itself on the site, a company spokesperson told TRD. The company is currently headquartered in a nearby office building at 621 Northwest 53rd Street Suite 700.