A joint venture between affiliates of West Palm Beach-based MHCommercial Real Estate Fund II (“MHCREF”), a discretionary real estate private equity fund formed by NAI/Merin Hunter Codman principals Dung Lam, Neil E. Merin and Jordan Paul, and Waterfall Asset Management (“Waterfall”), a New York-based SEC-registered institutional asset manager with approximately $9.8 billion in assets including committed capital under management, has closed on the $32.5 million purchase of the fee simple interest in EcoPlex®, a 100,525-square-foot office building located at 1641 Worthington Road in West Palm Beach.
Built in 2008, EcoPlex® is 87 percent leased to a diversified tenant roster with five or more years of weighted average lease term. EcoPlex® was the first speculative office building in West Palm Beach and only the second in South Florida to achieve the LEED® Gold Certification. It is designed to withstand winds of a Category 4 hurricane and is equipped with three generators with integrated, above ground diesel fuel tanks, and rainwater recycling system. The four-story property also features a fitness center with showers and lockers, a lush outdoor plaza, an attached five-story parking structure, and fiber optic service. EcoPlex® rewards businesses with a healthier workplace, maximum energy efficiency, minimal environmental impact, significant cost savings, and increased productivity.
EcoPlex® is located in the Centrepark Office District, a 69-acre mixed-use project strategically located just off Australian Avenue across from Drive Shack and directly adjacent to the Hampton Inn and Garden Inn hotels. EcoPlex® offers convenient access to downtown West Palm Beach’s amenity base including high-profile restaurants and business destinations including Rosemary Square and the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Additionally, the property’s location offers strategic access onto the region’s major transportation infrastructure, including Interstate 95 (less than 1 mile away), Palm Beach County International Airport (1 mile away), Tri-Rail, Brightline Florida Trains (2 miles away), and the Florida Turnpike (4.6 miles away).
The acquisition represents the second Palm Beach County joint venture between MHCREF and Waterfall following their successful acquisition of the Golden Bear Plaza in Palm Beach Gardens in May 2020. The project also represents the first purchase for MHCREF’s new fund which is projected to acquire between $200 and $250 million of commercial property throughout the Southeastern United States over the next 18-24 months, following the successful acquisition of approximately $115 million of property in its initial fund which was fully invested in December 2021.
MHCREF principals Neil E. Merin, Dung Lam and Jordan Paul stated, “We are very pleased to kick off our second fund by purchasing one of the premier office buildings in our hometown of West Palm Beach. West Palm Beach has emerged as one of the premier office locations in the United States and EcoPlex® provides its tenants with outstanding access to all the area has to offer. As the only LEED® Gold Certified building in the city with a full backup generator system and construction engineered to withstand a category 4 hurricane, EcoPlex® offers its tenants a unique value proposition in the highly sought-after West Palm Beach market.”
Patti Unti, Managing Director at Waterfall stated, “We are excited to be partnering with MHCREF on our second transaction in southeast Florida. The MHCREF team brings a deep bench of talent to our partnership along with a long history of operating within the West Palm Beach market. The EcoPlex® project offers a differentiated office approach to a sub-market we believe is well-positioned for future growth.”
Corey Winsett, Director of Acquisitions for MHCREF oversaw the acquisition and due diligence process on behalf of the MHCRF/Waterfall JV. Financing for the transaction was provided by LoanCore Capital a leading institutional lender that has financed over $25 billion in commercial real estate loans since 2008. Steve Kay, Managing Director and JP Kost, Vice President, structured the financing transaction on behalf of LoanCore Capital.
Elizabeth Jones and John Strickroot of the Shutts & Bowen law firm represented the purchaser on the transaction. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman will manage and lease the property with the team of Managing Directors Lesley Sheinberg and Barbara LeBrun, SIOR.
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