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Crocker Partners sells Fort Lauderdale office tower to Chicago firm for $87M

Deal marks the first big office sale in Fort Lauderdale this year
By Katherine Kallergis | February 24, 2017 06:00PM

Street view of One Financial Plaza

Crocker Partners sold a 28-story office tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale to an affiliate of Walton Street Capital for $86.75 million.

Records show Crocker affiliate One Financial Plaza LLC sold the building at 100 Southeast Third Avenue to W-Crocker Fin Place Owner VIII LLC, which is controlled by Doug Welker, principal of asset management at Walton Street Capital, a private equity firm based in Chicago. The buyer financed the deal with a $61.23 million loan from SunTrust.

The deal marks the first large sale of an office building in Fort Lauderdale this year. It breaks down to about $314 per square foot.

The 276,572-square-foot Class A office building was built in 1972, and was originally known as the Landmark Bank Tower. When it opened, it was the tallest building in Fort Lauderdale, and is now the sixth-tallest, according to Emporis. One Financial Plaza was renovated in 2011, data from Real Capital Analytics shows. Crocker Partners paid $44 million for the 4-acre property in 2011.

Tenants include the Tower Club restaurant on the penthouse level, anchor tenant Regions Bank, Pipeline Workspaces, AXA Advisors and Fowler White Burnett. Pipeline signed a 20-year lease for a full floor at the building and opened in October. One Financial Plaza includes an attached parking garage, a renovated lobby, new gym and conference space and a redesigned entrance, according to a Loopnet listing.

The office tower is about two blocks away from Las Olas Boulevard, which is going through a commercial and residential resurgence. In September, a JP Morgan investment manager sold the Las Olas City Centre office tower to Deutsche Bank for $220 million, marking one of the biggest office deals in South Florida in 2016.

And the sale of One Financial Plaza is the second big office building that Crocker has traded in recent months. The Boca Raton-based investment and management firm, along with Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, sold the Esperanté Corporate Center in West Palm Beach to RedSky Capital for $126 million in July.

One Financial Plaza’s new owner, Walton Street Capital, has handled more than $8.4 billion of investments from public and corporate pension plans, foreign institutions, insurance companies and banks, endowments and foundations, trusts, and high net-worth individuals, according to its website. Affiliates of Walton Street Capital have invested more than $7.5 billion of equity into the private equity real estate investment firm.