Skip to main content
Jax Daily Record Sunday, Dec. 29, 201312:00 PM EST

Liberty Property sells Jacksonville holdings for $197M to Greenfield Partners


Liberty Property Trust sold its portfolio of 32 Jacksonville buildings along with 115 undeveloped acres for more than $197 million to Greenfield Partners LLC, a Connecticut-based real estate investment firm.

The mortgage and deeds were recorded Friday with the Duval County Clerk of Court. The six deeds comprising the properties were made Dec. 21 and the mortgage on Dec. 24.

Documents show Greenfield Partners bought the properties through four limited partnerships for $197,250,000. JPMorgan Chase Bank and German American Capital Corp. issued a mortgage and security agreement to the partnerships for $157.7 million.

Greenfield says on its site that it was established in 1997 by Eugene Gorab and "has since become one of the leading real estate investment managers in North America."

The firm says it manages capital on behalf of its principals and limited partners and has secured capital commitments in excess of $4 billion. Its partners include state and corporate pension plans, university endowments, private foundations and high net worth individuals.

Liberty Property Trust, based in Malvern, Pa., near Philadelphia, announced Nov. 7 it had agreed to sell 97 properties in five states, including all of its Jacksonville holdings. The Jacksonville portfolio totals more than 2.1 million square feet of developed space.

The $705 million sale of all 97 properties was expected to be completed in stages late this year and early next year.

Liberty Property did not identify the buyer at the time.

In addition to Liberty's entire Jacksonville portfolio, the sale includes all of the 23 office properties in Maryland, 24 in Southern New Jersey and six in the Fort Washington submarket of Philadelphia as well as 12 flex properties in Minnesota.

The Jacksonville properties primarily are in the Southpoint and Butler Boulevard area of South Jacksonville along with the 115 acres along Imeson Road in West Jacksonville.

Among its most recognized area developments are Center Point Business Park, Butler Plaza, Liberty Business Park, the McKesson Building and the PHH Building.

"It's not that we don't think we have great assets in Jacksonville. We do. They will continue to grow in value," Heise said in November, explaining that the Southside locations are in high-demand areas.

"It is a strategic shift on our part, not a lack of confidence in our assets in Jacksonville," he said.

The Jacksonville office has had a staff of 13 in property management and leasing and development. Heise is relocating to Liberty's Dallas office and another employee has transferred to South Florida.

As of November, Heise said he didn't know the plans of the remaining 11 employees, but said the buildings will need management services.

Liberty's news release about the sale agreement did not break down the value of the properties by state. While it also has holdings in Orlando, Tampa and South Florida, it sold only its Jacksonville properties in Florida.

The Duval County Property Appraiser's website shows 25 properties, some with multiple buildings, owned by Liberty Property Limited Partnership and Liberty Property Development Corp.

They total 40 individual buildings or lots, including a parking garage, two parking lots, three vacant properties and two utility buildings.

The property appraiser's office reports a 2014 "in progress" market value of $144.6 million and a 2013 taxable value of $135.8 million.

The Jacksonville holdings include 1.2 million square feet of office space and about 965,000 square feet of flexible-use space, including about 79,000 square feet of distribution.

Heise said the properties are 95 percent occupied.

Its properties were built primarily from 1986 to 1999, with several developed during the 2000s, ending with the Concorde Career College building in 2012.

The timeline on the site explains that Liberty's predecessor company, Rouse & Associates, was formed in 1972 by Willard "Bill" Rouse III, George Congdon, David Hammers and Menard Doswell to develop warehouse space in southern New Jersey.

It began its national expansion by opening an office in Jacksonville, developing 350,000 square feet of industrial space in the first year. Hammers played a pivotal role in the Jacksonville developments.

[email protected]


(904) 356-2466

Be the first to know the latest breaking news and information that business leaders rely on in this fast-paced changing Northeast Florida economy. Regional business news, trends and statistics needed to grow your business. Key upcoming events you won’t want to miss and much more. Click Here to Grow your Business NOW!

Related Stories