Esperante just wrapped up three major lease deals totaling more than 13,500 square feet, bringing the building’s occupancy up to about 80 percent. The 17-story, Class A office tower has 246,000 square feet of space.
Wilson Elser, a national law firm, recently signed a 10-year lease for 5,785 square feet; BankUnited signed a 10-year lease for 5,000 square feet for a commercial banking division; and Fourth Street Holdings, a company owned by a mining executive with a house in Palm Beach County, took 2,723 square feet of prime space with great water views, on the 16th floor.
The deals are important because they represent new tenants coming into the market, instead of the usual shuffling around that takes place in the downtown West Palm Beach office market, Labrizzi said. Two of the deals are also long: 10-year leases.
BankUnited’s move signals a desire by the Miami Lakes-based bank to make a big push into Palm Beach County’s commercial loan market. “We have a high willingness to lend,” said Gerard Litrento, senior executive vice president for retail and business banking at BankUnited’s main office in Miami Lakes. The bank’s new commercial banking office is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes: Small businesses, with revenues up to $3 million; mid-range businesses from $3 million to $20 million; and large businesses of $20 million or more in revenue.
Bank United is looking to make a statement with its new West Palm Beach presence and might even put a sign on the building, CB Richard’s Librizzi said.
Anthony Librizzi, vice president of CB Richard Ellis brokerage, said Esperante competed for deals with the other Class A buildings in town, CityPlace Tower and Phillips Point. “We went head-to-head on all three deals, and we nabbed all three. We’re starting to see the fruits of our labor,” said Librizzi, who handled the deals, along with CB Richard Ellis Vice President Jeff Kelly.
The changes come after CB poured more than $6 million into building upgrades, including the creation of a floor of ready-to-go offices for companies that want to move into the tower immediately while they wait for a permanent space to be built.
The office building, located at 222 Lakeview Avenue, is considered a signature tower, and ING Clarion paid a handsome $104.5 million for the property in 2005.
When Esperante went on the market in early 2008, some observers expected it to fetch a big number because there are so few “trophy” office buildings around. But the recession dashed hopes for a high price, and after languishing for months, the property finally sold – at a loss. ING ended up settling on a sale to a CBRE fund for the bargain price of $67.55 million in January 2009.
Source: Palm Beach Post
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