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Esperante tower in West Palm snares corporate HQ

The Esperante Corporate Center in West Palm Beach has snared a large headquarters tenant from across the bridge.

Chatham Lodging Trust, a publicly-traded hotel real estate investment trust, and Island Hospitality Management, a hotel management company, will move from Palm Beach at the end of the year.

Chatham will lease 27,516-square-feet in a 10-year-lease at the Class A Esperante office tower, at 222 Lakeview Avenue. About 120 employees will work in the new headquarters office.

Chatham/Island Hospitality currently has offices at 50 Cocoanut Row. Island Hospitality is 51 percent owned by Jeffrey H. Fisher, Chatham’s chairman and chief executive officer.

The move is a coup for Esperante’s new owners, Crocker Partners of Boca Raton and Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC of Connecticut.

Since they bought the 256,000-square-foot tower last year, they have been seeking to fill the property’s vacant space with top tenants. The new ownership team not only is ambitious; it is connected, too. Crocker’s chief executive Tom Crocker sits on the board of Chatham Lodging, according to Chatham’s website.

West Palm Beach leaders have been eager to boost the downtown’s image as a center of finance.

“This shows once again how our Flagler Financial District continues to be a destination for the financial and investment sector,” West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio said Monday. “I am always happy to roll out the welcome mat for corporate relocations, whether they’re coming all the way across the country or just across the Intracoastal.”

The deal brings Esperante’s occupancy rate to 87 percent. Esperante recently snared the Cole Scott Kissane law firm.

The other two Class A office buildings in West Palm Beach, CityPlace Tower and Phillips Point, are at about the 90 percent mark or more. This leaves a dearth of new space available for corporations wishing to take space downtown.

The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County said more luxury office space is needed, including in West Palm Beach, to accommodate companies already seeking space.

While there may be lesser quality space available, BDB President Kelly Smallridge said companies want Class A space, with amenities such as valet parking and concierge services, plus, preferably, a water view.

The Chatham deal was negotiated by Mark Pateman, Danielle Vennett and Jon Blunk of Cushman & Wakefield.

Pateman said Chatham liked Esperante’s Class A location and amenities, which they believe will help in recruiting and keeping top employees.

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