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EverBank Center building has ‘prospective buyer’

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Pamela Smith, who represents EverBank Center owner El Ad Florida LLC, said Tuesday she could not comment about speculation that there is a contract to buy the 30-story tower at 301 W. Bay St.

“We are talking to a prospective buyer,” she said, declining to elaborate.

The building was listed for sale with CBRE. It is represented by CBRE brokers Mike Harrell and Lou Nutter.

In a May interview, Smith said she estimated El Ad has invested at least $3 million into the building’s common areas since it bought the structure in 2004 for $90.9 million.

Smith said there isn’t an asking price. The 1 million-square foot building was assessed at almost $46 million last year.

Nutter has declined comment and Harrell did not return calls for comment.

El Ad hired Smith as its owner representative in August 2010. Working with local real estate brokers and others, she signed EverBank Financial Corp. to lease 270,000 square feet of office space among nine of the building’s 30 floors. The bank has moved 1,800 employees there.

Auld & White Constructors LLC announced in January that it was selected by El Ad Florida for the $8.5 million build-out at what was then called the AT&T Tower for EverBank, whose name has been put up on the north and south faces of the tower.

The building also has added features. Nature’s Table Café recently opened on the second floor. Smith said a 4,000-square-foot fitness center opened this week in the basement of the building.

Smith said the tower is about 70 percent occupied. She said 210,000 square feet of space is available for lease.

The structure was built in 1983 and owned by what has become AT&T. AT&T continues to lease 245,000 square feet of space in the building.

AT&T’s lease is coming up and it is reviewing space in the area, Smith said.

“Any company with a lease renewal in a couple of years usually goes to market to determine what options are in the market to negotiate the best deal they can,” including with its current space, she said.

“That is what AT&T is doing at this point,” she said.

“They built the building, so they’ve been here since 1983. We hope they will continue to stay with us in the building. They are a great tenant of ours,” Smith said.

“We hope they will continue to be a part of our building and a part of Downtown,” she said.

BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. sold the building in 1999 to Capital Group of Jacksonville Ltd. for $67 million.

Capital Growth sold the property to El Ad.

BellSouth was formerly known as Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co. and the building was known as the BellSouth Tower at the time it was sold to Capital Growth.

AT&T bought BellSouth in 2006 and remained the anchor tenant in the building, which became AT&T Tower.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

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