Nearly 200,000 SF of Activity Points To Growing Market “Niche” For NAI/Merin Hunter Codman

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Inc. announced that its Chairman, Neil E. Merin, has completed the resolution of three receivership properties in Palm Beach County.
In the last 30 days, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman arranged the sale of two of those properties, collectively totaling $9 million. Both are mixed office and retail and together total 112,000 square feet. The third property is an 80,000 square-foot office building on PGA Boulevard where NAI/Merin Hunter Codman took over as Receiver and helped facilitate a speedy transfer to the lender. As part of the ongoing effort to optimize asset values, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman has taken over management and leasing of all three properties. Collectively, the spate of Florida transactions points toward a growing trend — receiverships represent a “niche” market that is beginning to account for a sizeable portion of commercial real estate activity in the state.
“As a fiduciary receiver, we play a critical role in preserving asset value for lenders and others with vested interests in commercial properties,” said Neil E. Merin, Chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman. “We look for ways to turn a property around on an individualized basis, and these recent sales and resolutions indicate our success in doing that.”
The three resolutions in Palm Beach County indicate NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s continued success in bringing closure and adding value in increasingly complicated receivership situations. Upon its court appointments, the firm immediately implemented tasks on the Palm Beach County properties including emergency repairs, reinstating lapsed insurance policies, rectifying delinquent tax issues, resolving safety violations and addressing maintenance issues. Once stabilized, the firm developed short- and long-term strategies for asset optimization including repositioning properties in their respective markets.
As a result, one of the office/retail properties, Village Center in Delray Beach, was sold to Village Center of Delray LLC for $5.5 million. Village Center is a 51,000 square-foot, medical office complex comprised of two-buildings at 15280 and 15340 Jog Road. Diagnostic Centers of America (DCA), a state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging company, has leased 15,000 square feet at the complex and will be relocating its current Delray center to Village Center. It will house approximately 50 employees at the center. Upon DCA taking occupancy, the center will be 91% leased.
Also sold was Habitat Center, a 62,000 square-foot office/retail center in West Palm Beach situated at 4047 Okeechobee Boulevard near Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. The transaction involved the sale of a mortgage note on the property to an affiliate of the Schumacher Auto Group for $3.5 million. The nine-acre property is expected to remain a retail center for the near term and is 70% occupied.
Jordan Paul, Chief Executive Officer of NAI Merin Hunter Codman stated, “We completed the ‘round trip’ of taking over, stabilizing and selling the Habitat and Village Centers on behalf of our clients in less than a year’s time, which is extraordinarily quick to complete the full cycle of receivership in the current marketplace. Our property management team did an outstanding job stabilizing operations, and our brokerage team was able quickly identify unique specialty users who were financially capable of expedient closings.”
The third Palm Beach County receivership assignment was for an 80,000 square-foot office building at 4400 PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens. Merin facilitated the special servicer efforts to foreclosure there, with the lender then acquiring title. The property stands 55% leased with larger tenants including Fifth Third Bank and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Embassy Suites Hotel is adjoined to the property, and office tenants enter through a shared atrium that features lush interior landscaping and a water feature with resident swans.



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