The Real Deal Miami

Astros owner buys West Palm office building for $6.5M, plans hotel

Property to be converted to a 160-room hotel
By Gabrielle Paluch | February 08, 2017 01:30PM

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane just paid $6.5 million for one of three buildings at the Forum, an office complex in West Palm Beach, with plans to redevelop it into a hotel.

CBRE, which held the listing, said the tower will be converted into a 160-room hotel. Crane bought the property through Houston Baseball Partners LLC, the same entity that owns the Astros. The price works out to $40,625 per key, or roughly $70 per square foot.

CBRE Hotels’ Christian Charre, Paul Weimer and Natalie Castillo represented the seller, CP Forum LLC, which will continue to own the remaining two office buildings at the project.

The office building’s market presented a “rare opportunity to own a new hotel in a prime location in South Florida at a significant discount to replacement cost,” said Charre, senior vice president at CBRE, in a statement. He said the West Palm Beach lodging market has a year-end 2016 average daily rate of $168 and 72.5 percent occupancy.

The seller, a Miami-based affiliate of Crimson Peak investment management headed by Mark Paresky, bought the three office buildings at 1655-1675 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. for $20.5 million in February 2016. The seller at that time was an affiliate of Panther Capital Management, which had owned the complex since 2010.

The Forum is located on a stretch of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard that has been reinvigorated since the demolition of the old Palm Beach Mall to make way for the Palm Beach Outlets, which opened in 2014.