Denver and Miami firms team up on $73M Doral office park acquisition

Partnership between Ascentris, Highline Real Estate Capital and Square2 Capital bought the three-building complex

Miami /
Nov.November 18, 2021 10:30 AM

From left: David Moret, president, Highline Real Estate Capital, Jay Caplin, principal, SQUARE2 Capital, and Gabe Fink, CEO and CIO, Ascentris in front of 8400 NW 33rd Street in Miami (Highline Real Estate Capital, SQUARE2 Capital, Ascentris, LoopNet)

A Denver-based real estate private equity firm teamed up with two Miami companies to buy a Doral office park for $73 million.

Denver-based Ascentris, led by CEO Gabe Finke, partnered with Highline Real Estate Capital and Square2 Capital to acquire the three-building complex at 8200, 8300 and 8400 Northwest 33rd Street, according to a press release. The buildings, known as Westside Plaza I, II and III, feature 372,639 square feet of class A office space.

The seller is the real estate investment and financing arm of Prudential, according to records. Prudential paid $15.8 million for Westside Plaza I in 1996, $10 million for Westside Plaza II in 1999 and $10.9 million for Westside Plaza III in 2001, records show. All the four-story buildings were completed between 1996 and 1999 by Codina Partners.

A CBRE team led by Chris Lee represented Prudential, and acquisition financing was arranged by Amy Julien, also of CBRE, according to the release. Miami-based Square2, led by principals Jay Caplin and Michael Manno, will provide an onsite property management team, and JLL will handle leasing.

David Moret, president of Miami-based Highline Real Estate Capital, told The Real Deal that the office park had maintained more than 90 percent occupancy for most of its existence. The 2017 departure of Florida Blue, the state division of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance company, caused the occupancy rate to plummet to 73 percent, he added.

The building will experience another significant drop in occupancy to 51 percent when a lease with Oceania Cruises expires next year, Moret added. “We saw it as a strong value-add opportunity,” Moret said. “And we know the strength and growth of the Doral market.”

The partnership plans on renovating the buildings by upgrading lobbies, common areas and restrooms, as well as adding a conference center, fitness facility, tenant lounge, and café, Moret said. “The buildings haven’t been upgraded or amentized for a long time,” he said. “We saw an opportunity to deliver a much higher quality product.”

The Doral submarket has experienced increased rental rates and pockets of strong absorption, but also some adjustments as tenants adapt to post-Covid norms, Moret said. He noted the office park has 75,000 square feet of space on three contiguous floors to attract a large tenant.

In September, a venture tied to institutional real estate investor Parmenter paid $27 million for a Doral office building that was the former home of the Miami Herald and its sister Spanish language newspaper, el Nuevo Herald. Two months earlier, MG3 REIT bought the Doral Concourse office building for $96 million.





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