Bank of America Tower sale could close next week

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The Hertz Investment Group, a California-based real estate investment and management group that focuses on downtown revitalization, is expected to buy the Bank of America Tower by the end of next week.

Sources knowledgeable about the deal, but who declined to comment publicly because they are not authorized to discuss it, said Wednesday that the 42-story Downtown Northbank tower could sell for a speculated price of $88 million. They said the property is under contract to the California comapany.

Hertz Investment Group Executive Vice President James Ingram, the chief investment officer, declined comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Jacksonville Tower Associates LLC, in care of Parmenter Realty Partners, is selling the building. Jeffrey Morris, managing director of the Capital Markets Group for JLL Americas Inc., is representing the ownership group. Morris declined comment.

Real estate sources said in mid-June the deal was expected to close within a month. It follows the June 18 sale of the Wells Fargo Center and two parking garages on the Downtown Northbank for $79 million. Allegiance Partners of New York and Banyan Real Estate Capital of Miami bought that 37-story tower.

The Hertz Investment Group says on its site that it is based in Santa Monica and specializes in the acquisition, marketing and management of “exceptional” real estate properties with a special emphasis on downtown revitalization.

The privately held company owns and manages more than 45 major urban properties, representing more than 13 million square feet of office space in the central business districts of 14 U.S. cities in 10 states.

The website says Judah Hertz founded the group in the late 1970s and has acquired and managed more than 100 properties throughout the United States.

The Bank of America Tower at 50 N. Laura St. has been for sale at least since February. The tower - Jacksonville's tallest building - was built in 1990 and has more than 696,000 square feet of space. It is about 71 percent leased.

Its 2014 market value in progress is $65.5 million. It last sold in 1999 for $74.7 million.

It also could be the second of three landmark Downtown Northbank towers to sell. The 33-story EverBank Center also is for sale.

Hertz Investment Group’s 45 current properties listed on its website include several Class A high-rise office buildings in New Orleans, including the 39-story Energy Centre and 27-story Poydras Center; the 20-story Market Square in Indianapolis; the 25-story Regions Bank Tower and its parking garage in Shreveport, La.; and three St. Louis properties —the 31-story Laclede Gas Building, the 21-story Equitable Building and the 22-story Bank of America Tower.

The website says the group has created a record of “astute” investments by “recognizing the benefits of historic preservation, conservation and adaptive reuse, and moving swiftly to take advantage of rare opportunities.

It says it has revitalized some of Los Angeles' “most cherished buildings,”including the Wiltern Center, the Oviatt Building, and the Park Plaza Hotel.


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