“Darth Vader” building to go up for sale; office properties are hot


The Northbridge Centre, aka the Darth Vader building, is about to go on the market for sale.

Real estate sources expect the Force to be with the brokers who will peddle this property, which for years has been associated with the Dark Lord of the Sith, owing to its imposing black glass.

Owner Gaedeke Group used to be annoyed when people referred to the building by its Star Wars moniker. Eventually, however, the Northbridge’s owner surrendered to the link and even created a marketing video around it.

Office properties are hot commodities these days, and the last time the Northbridge changed hands was more than 20 years ago. So expect a lot of interest when the property hits the market in the coming days.

The complex in downtown West Palm Beach follows the path of other city-center office buildings that have changed hands for big money during this latest real estate boom.

Northbridge, at 515 N. Flagler Drive, has a 21-story tower and adjacent pavilion. It was buit in 1987 and has been owned by the Gaedeke Group since 1993, which paid $24 million for the property.

Although the property is not a Class A-style building, it does have Class A views of the Intracoastal Waterway, Palm Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sources say the 293,000-square-foot building is about 85 percent leased. Rates range from $17 to $22 per square foot, not including taxes, insurance and maintenance.

The building is close to the courthouse and is popular with law firms. Tenants include the Ciklin, Lubitz law firm and the Lytal, Reiter law firm.

In 2002, Gaedeke did a face lift, trying to soften the Darth Vader nickname by creating a white glass atrium between the tower and pavilion buildings.

That just led some people to start call the building The Oreo, since it now resembles the white cream-filled chocolate cookie popular with kids of all ages.

Another change took place at the top: The tower’s top floor used to be restaurants Le Mont and Rockwells. Before that, private clubs Roof Gardens and the Executive Club occupied the space.

But dining ended in 2006 when the Northbridge’s owner revamped the top floor into commercial office space.

Office complexes are changing hands for big money these days.

The Phillips Point office complex, at 777 S. Flagler Drive, sold earlier this year $245.5 million. AEW Capital Management of Boston was the buyer.

And in 2014, CityPlace Tower, at 525 Okeechobee Boulevard, sold for $150 million to W.R. Berkley Corp.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

NFL championship games 2018: What time, what channel, odds for Jags vs. Patriots and Vikings vs. Eagles
NFL championship games 2018: What time, what channel, odds for Jags vs. Patriots and Vikings vs. Eagles

We are one day out from “Championship Sunday,” where the teams who will play in the Super Bowl will be determined. The Minnesota Vikings will take on the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC Championship, while the New England Patriots play the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC title. If the Vikings win, they will be the first team to ever play...
Mar-a-Lago fundraiser to go on as scheduled; Trump stays in D.C.
Mar-a-Lago fundraiser to go on as scheduled; Trump stays in D.C.

President Donald Trump will not attend a $100,000-per-couple political fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach tonight because of the federal government shutdown. “There is no plan to go to Florida while there is a shutdown,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told The Palm Beach Post. The fundraiser will...
Hundreds of protesters gather in Palm Beach for president’s one-year in office
Hundreds of protesters gather in Palm Beach for president’s one-year in office

Update 2:00 p.m.: President Trump posted a tweet about today being “a perfect day for all Women to March” to celebrate lowest female unemployment in 18 years.  Women’s marches are happening this weekend in cities across the country in protest of Trump’s election.  <div></div><br><...
Congress at work on a Saturday as lawmakers try to end shutdown quickly
Congress at work on a Saturday as lawmakers try to end shutdown quickly

Hours after funding lapsed for the federal government at midnight, lawmakers in both parties returned for an unusual Saturday session of the House and Senate, as both parties quickly launched themselves into finger pointing over who is to blame for the first government shutdown since 2013, with few signs that a deal was near...
Drake makes surprise appearance at Memphis nightclub
Drake makes surprise appearance at Memphis nightclub

He may have started from the bottom, but rapper Drake is making headlines after doing one dance that started in the Bluff City. According to party promoter Curtis Givens, the Grammy winner called him wanting to have a private party at In LOVE Memphis, a popular nightclub. Givens said it was a last minute call, but he and his business partner were up...
More Stories