JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — Harbor Group International has sold the 348,852-square-foot Wachovia Tower, a Class A office building located in downtown Jacksonville, to an undisclosed buyer for $51.4 million. Norfolk, Va.-based Harbor Group acquired the building in 2004 from Faison Enterprises for $38.3 million.
T. Richard Litton, Jr., president of Harbor Group, says that 5 years is the typical amount of time the company holds onto assets of this size. When an offer for the building came along that met the company’s return expectations, Litton set the gears in motion.
“We had good debt that was assumable by a purchaser,” he says, explaining why the large transaction was not overly affected by the economic downturn. “In other words, potential buyers did not have to worry about obtaining financing in the current, very difficult market.” Jeffrey R. Dunne and Steven P. Bardsley of CB Richard Ellis’s Stamford, Conn., office brokered the transaction.
The 12-year-old property, which sits at 225 Water St., shares a lobby with a 353-room Omni Hotel. The tower is currently 98 percent occupied, with the majority of the space leased by Wachovia. Other tenants in the 22-story building include Foundation Financial Group, FPIC Insurance Group, CB Richard Ellis and the law firms Smith Hulsey & Busey and Anderson St. Denis & Glenn. Harbor Group sold an adjacent 1,029-space parking garage last year.
Harbor Group retains a sunny outlook toward the Jacksonville office market. In 2007, the company purchased the 18-story BB&T tower, located at 200 W. Forsyth St. in Jacksonville, for $30.5 million. “The Wachovia deal was broadly marketed, and we obtained market pricing,” Litton says. “We generally have a favorable view of the Jacksonville office market.”