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Grubb Properties, NY firm buy Uptown office building

525N.TryonSt.2(Dec.2012).webCHARLOTTE – Charlotte-based developer Grubb Properties and New York Life Real Estate Investors have purchased a 19-story office building at 525 N. Tryon St. in uptown, near the two SkyHouse Uptown apartment towers that are being developed by Grubb Properties along with Georgia-based Novare Group and Batson-Cook Construction.

The 405,000-square-foot, class-A office building was purchased from Parkway Properties Inc. of Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 29 for $60 million.

Todd Williams, executive vice president with Grubb Properties, said 36 percent of the building was vacant, with the seventh, eighth and ninth floors making up 90,000 square feet of the available space. Rental rates in the building are between $25 to $28 per square foot.

Bank of America is the building’s largest tenant, occupying 48 percent of the total space.

Williams also said the combined parking of the office building and the first SkyHouse apartment tower, which is slated for completion in June 2015, will work interchangeably for employees who work in the office building and residents who live in the SkyHouse apartments. He said SkyHouse residents will likely not be using their parking deck during the day, allowing the office building’s employees to take advantage of it while at work.

The office building’s below-ground parking deck has about 525 parking spaces, and the SkyHouse building will have more than 900 spaces once it’s complete.

The office building also has nearly 9,000 square feet of vacant retail space on the first floor, some of which  Williams expects to be used for a restaurant.

The acquisition of the office building “coincides with a widely supported public-private partnership to transform the North Tryon corridor,” according to a Grubbs statement.

Levine Properties broke ground in September on the first stage – a 3.2-acre park across from UNC Charlotte’s Center City building – of its master development project, aimed at revitalizing the city’s first ward.

“We are proud to partner with Grubb Properties by investing in the future of this emerging corridor of uptown Charlotte’s office market,” New York Life Real Estate Investors Managing Director Kevin M. Smith said in a statement. New York Life Real Estate Investors is the real estate debt and equity investment branch of New York Life Investors LLC, and is primarily responsible for managing the fixed-income assets of its parent company, New York Life Insurance Co.

Williams said the building’s proximity to the Lynx Blue Line light rail extension was also a plus.

“It only gets better over time, because the rail line will keep extending up to University City,” he said.

Grubb Properties has already torn down the City Center Inn on the property where the second SkyHouse building will be built.

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