Downtown Office Building May Sell for Record Post-Recession Price

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor Downtown Miami’s SunTrust International’s sale has caused quite a stir among real estate experts due to its rumored sale price of $195 per square foot. The building has an occupancy rate of 82 percent, serving as [...]

Downtown Miami’s SunTrust International’s sale has caused quite a stir among real estate experts due to its rumored sale price of $195 per square foot. The building has an occupancy rate of 82 percent, serving as home to tenants such as SunTrust, Akerman Senterfitt and the Daily Business Review.

Since 2003, the 31-story SunTrust International Building has been in the possession of Boston-based Guggenheim Real Estate and its minority partner, Stiles Corp., which contracted with Jones Lang LaSalle to market the property back in February of this year. The potential total price buyer Crocker Partners is paying for the 420,080-sq. ft. office tower is somewhere around $80 million and it includes the parking annex that is a couple of blocks away, also leased.

When the property was put up for sale a few months ago, Guggenheim admitted to an interest in testing the post-recession pricing waters, according to the South Florida Business Journal, and did not care as much for the actual sale, as for the asking price. Yet recent transactions of trophy assets such as Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Centre or the Miami Tower—that sold in December for $175 per square foot—have helped reset the bar in terms of pricing.

According to CB Richard Ellis experts, also unfamiliar with the amount of money SunTrust traded for, the investment should prove successful, given the growth of downtown Miami’s residential base and the features of the building. An important factor mentioned among real estate watchers here is the size of the building’s floor plates—$16,500 sq. ft. on most floors—and the average size of 3,500 square feet, making it easy to accommodate the smaller tenants that currently dominate the market.

Real estate experts have also specified that even if the current price is indeed the one speculated, by the time the contract closes, it could easily go down.