Colorado Springs nets big-time commercial real estate sale

Colorado Springs nets big-time commercial real estate sale.

The Colorado Springs commercial real estate market just hit it big, according to The Gazette.

The city recently notched one of its biggest deals ever when Patriot Equities, a private real estate development and investment firm from suburban Philadelphia, agreed to buy 15 high-quality office buildings.

"We like office (space)," Geoffrey Gardner, Patriot's principal and chief investment officer, told the Philadelphia Business Journal. "We see the value in suburban office. We think it's a little bit of an overlooked property type. It fell further in value in the downturn and has been slower to recover but with the strengthening of the economy, you will see that continue to improve."

Patriot Equities declined to disclose the exact payment due to a confidentiality agreement, but likely paid somewhere around $160 million for the 15-building portfolio, which totals 1.2 million square feet, according to the Business Journal. Patriot purchased the properties from part of a 21-building portfolio owned by Corporate Office Properties Trust, a Maryland-based real estate investment trust.

Peter Scoville, a broker with Cushman & Wakefield, told The Gazette that the purchase made by Patriot Equities is one of the largest in dollars and space the city has ever seen. Scoville's firm worked with Patriot Equities and COPT on the deal.

Staying quiet then striking
According to the Business Journal, Patriot hadn't made many splashy purchases over the last few years as it focused on recapitalizing and refinancing its portfolio. It now exclusively owns real estate on a long-term fixed rate.

"We really have a good, stable portfolio," Gardner told the Business Journal.

In speaking with The Gazette, Gardner said Patriot Equities was first drawn to the buildings because of the top-flight amenities developed by COPT.

"Where some people saw a risk there, we saw a nice stable base of activity with those sorts of functions," Gardner said.

The buildings are considered Class A properties because of their top-notch offerings and locations.

"They're certainly, in our view, the best buildings in that market," Gardner added. "From a pure real estate fundamentals standpoint, they're very appealing."

Gardner went so far as to say that Patriot Equities interviewed a majority of the building tenants. Nearly all of them expected to grow in the near future.

"You have people that are looking at this community as a glass half full, not half empty," Scoville said.

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