ATLANTA, Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Transwestern's Southeast Investment Services Group today announced that it brokered the sale of Bank of America Plaza, located at 1901 Main Street, Columbia, S.C. Columbia-based AgFirst Farm Credit Bank purchased the 17-story, Class A office building for $26 million. Totaling 303,156 square feet, Bank of America Plaza was 69 percent leased at the time of sale, with AgFirst planning to relocate into the remaining space by year-end 2013.
"Bank of America Plaza was well received by the investment community thanks to its quality design and location within downtown Columbia's strong and diverse economy," said Kevin Markwordt, managing director. "The sale to AgFirst only serves to tighten the CBD's Class A office market, which already exhibits a single-digit vacancy."
After evaluating several build-to-suit options in the downtown market, AgFirst determined that Bank of America Plaza presented a strong investment opportunity for an upgraded space with a price substantially below the cost to develop a new building. The firm is currently headquartered downtown at 1401 Hampton Street in a functionally obsolete building totaling 118,000 square feet. Once it completes relocation of its headquarters, AgFirst will become Bank of America Plaza's largest tenant.
Markwordt added that AgFirst's investment represented a unique investor type for the purchase of a large, institutional-quality trophy office tower requiring stabilization. Transwestern's effective marketing strategy resulted in more than 25 offers from a diverse mix of qualified investors.
Built in 1989, Bank of America Plaza became the first building in South Carolina to be awarded LEED® for Existing Buildings Gold certification. The multi-tenant office high-rise is currently anchored by Bank of America, occupying 62,675 square feet, and is home to several other blue-chip quality tenants in the finance, insurance, legal, government and real estate industries, including Turner Padgett, Wells Fargo, and NAI Avant. Bank of America Plaza is the closest Class A tower to Interstate 126 and US 277, the primary routes to and from Columbia's CBD.
Markwordt, Jon Kleinberg and Julian Brown represented Lincoln Harris, the property's receiver. The buyer was represented by David Lockwood and John Folsom with Colliers International.
Transwestern's Atlanta-based Southeast Investment Services Group offers clients more than 70 years of combined experience and a successful track record of marketing and selling income-producing assets valued at more than $4 billion throughout the Southeast.
ABOUT AGFIRST FARM CREDIT BANK
AgFirst Farm Credit Bank is part of the Farm Credit System, the largest agricultural lending organization in the United States. With assets of more than $29 billion, AgFirst provides funding and financial services to 20 farmer-owned financial cooperatives in 15 eastern states and Puerto Rico. These cooperatives, operating as Farm Credit and Ag Credit agricultural credit associations, provide real estate and production financing to 80,000 farmers, agribusinesses, and rural homeowners.
Transwestern is a privately held real estate firm specializing in agency leasing, property and facilities management, tenant advisory, capital markets, development, research and sustainability. The fully integrated enterprise leverages competencies in office, industrial, retail, multifamily and healthcare properties to add value for investors, owners and occupiers of real estate. Transwestern facilitates better decision-making for clients by combining penetrating local market intelligence and macro-market research through its affiliate, Delta Associates. Transwestern has 33 U.S. offices and assists clients through more than 150 offices in 30 countries as part of a strategic alliance with Paris-based BNP Paribas Real Estate. For more information, please visit www.transwestern.net and follow us on Twitter: @Transwestern. Follow the Atlanta office on Twitter: @TranswesternATL.