A fund with ties to Blue Water Advisors picked up a Palm Beach County office building for $13 million.
The fund acquired Horizons Office Center at 1401 Forum Way in West Palm Beach, according to records. Blue Water is a private equity firm headquartered in New York and Boca Raton. It is led by Alex Hufty Griswold, head of real estate; William Whitridge; as well as by Griswold’s brother, Benjamin Griswold.
The fund financed the purchase of the eight-story, Class A office building with a $9.9 million loan from Ameris Bank, records show. The deal equates to roughly $194 a square foot.
A Cushman & Wakefield team led by Scott O’Donnell and Mike Ciadella represented the seller, an affiliate of AW Property Company, a North Palm Beach-based real estate investment firm. In 2015, AW paid $10.2 million for the 67,185-square-foot building that was completed in 1985, records show.
In a statement, O’Donnell said Horizons Office Center is in a more affordable area outside of West Palm Beach’s central business district, providing an upside for the Blue Water fund to attract new tenants.
The fund went through a “very competitive sales process,” to buy the building, as local and new-to-market investors see a lot of growth in the West Palm Beach office submarket, O’Donnell said. The building also has an attached three-level parking garage, panoramic views and is near I-95, West Palm Beach’s central business district and the Palm Beach Outlet Mall. It was last renovated in 2012, according to an online listing.
At the time of sale the property was 73 percent occupied, O’Donnell said. Tenants include Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Palm Beach Prosthodontics and law firm Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis.
In the most recent quarter, Palm Beach County had the lowest office vacancy rate in the tri-county region, at 13.2 percent, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report. Tenants moved into more than 2.2 million square feet of new office space, resulting in a positive absorption of 528,000 square feet in 2021, the report states. Asking rents also rose to $39.86 a square foot, a 3.8 percent increase, year-over-year.
The high demand for office space in Palm Beach County is fueling investor interest for office buildings, the report states. Last year, another real estate fund with ties to Blue Water’s principals sold a remodeled office building in Palm Beach for $37.8 million.
Other recent deals include Parmenter Realty Partners’s purchase of the Fairway Office Center in Palm Beach Gardens for $81.2 million. And Midtown Capital Partners paid $37 million for a six-building office and industrial park in West Palm Beach.