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Jax Daily Record Friday, Dec. 18, 202003:18 AM EST

Bank of America Tower sells in $75.5 million deal

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A New York City-based investor bought the 42-story high-rise Dec. 15.

Group RMC of New York City bought Jacksonville’s tallest office high-rise – the 42-story Bank of America Tower – and two other Downtown buildings Dec. 15 for $75.5 million.

The other two structures are the adjacent Iberiabank building and a parking garage.

Prime Finance Partners of Chicago financed the deal for almost $61.3 million.

Group RMC bought the property through Jacksonville Tower Florida Realty LP from Hertz Jacksonville One LLC.

The Hertz Investment Group, a California-based real estate investment and management group that focuses on downtown revitalization, paid $88 million for the property in July 2014.

Hertz sold the property for 14% less than it paid six years ago.

The Duval County Property Appraiser assesses the property at $75 million, almost the purchase price.

Property records show the 729,185-square-foot high-rise was built in 1990 on almost 1.32 acres at 50 N. Laura St. for Barnett Banks Inc. 

Jacksonville-based Barnett was sold to NationsBank which then merged with Bank of America.

With the purchase, Group RMC acquired the five-floor, almost 42,000-square-foot Iberiabank building at 135 W. Bay St., next to the tower, and a nine-story, 93,000-square-foot parking garage at 25 W. Forsyth St.

The Cushman & Wakefield commercial real estate company represented Hertz in the sale.

“The building definitely has a bright future under the new ownership,” said Mike McDonald, the Dallas-based vice chairman of Capital Markets with Cushman & Wakefield.

“There is an enhanced desire for capital to invest in high growth and low tax environments across the Sunbelt and Jacksonville definitely provides that opportunity,” he said.

Cushman & Wakefield has been marketing the property for at least a year.

“The trophy-class, LEED certified skyscraper has stood as the iconic focal-point of Jacksonville’s skyline,” it said previously on its website among its “Capital Markets Opportunities.” 

McDonald said previously the building will sell “at a substantial discount to replacement cost,” meaning it would cost more to build a structure of that size than the sales price.

At an industry estimate of $225 to $400 per square foot, a tower that size could cost up to $291 million to build new.

CBRE will lease and manage the building. CBRE Senior Vice President Oliver Barakat and office specialist Patrick Orman make up the leasing team.

The GroupRMCusa.com site says Group RMC is “a real estate co-investment group that invests in underappreciated office properties in non-gateway U.S. Markets.”

Group RMC and its affiliate entities own 18.5 million square feet in the U.S., principally in the Midwest, representing more than $2 billion in asset value, it says.

It says its “principals typically participate with 5% to 20% in each partnership and offer partners the opportunity to co-invest because Group RMC seeks like-minded partners, not simply ‘clients.’”

Group RMC also says it and its partners are “permanent and patient investors,” indicating a long-term ownership. “Group RMC will never be a forced seller and will only sell if an irresistible offer arises,” it says.

The website shows it owns 37 properties in 12 states and another 12 in Quebec. It doesn’t show any other holdings in Florida.

Hertz owns more than 21 million square feet of office assets across the country.
 

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