JUST IN: Philly group offers $62.3 million for Golden Bear Plaza

The owner of Golden Bear Plaza just struck gold.

An investment group out of Philadelphia is under contract to pay a reported $62.3 million for the three-building complex in Palm Beach Gardens.

That’s nearly double the price paid for the Class A offices in December 2003, when the building traded hands for $32.3 million.

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Real estate sources say the buyer is Alliance Partners HSP, a private equity group out of Bryn Mawr, Pa. If the deal closes, it would mark a fast sale. The property only began marketing in early March.

The rich price reinforces demand for existing office space, particularly in prime locations such as Palm Beach Gardens.

“It’s a Class A suburban office building and there are little to none in the area,” said Rebel Cook of Rebel Cook Realty in Jupiter. “Plus, the views are gorgeous looking east to the Atlantic Ocean and west to the sunset.”

Neil Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman declined to comment. Merin marketed the property with CBRE’s Christian Lee and Josen Lobon.

Golden Bear Plaza is a 243,000-square-foot Class-A, three-building office complex. It is just north of PGA Boulevard on US Highway One.

Golden Bear, isn’t a new property, but it is fairly famous due to its moniker.

The first building was built in 1985 by a group that included golf great “the Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus. Since then, the property has traded hands several times. The current owner is GB Investors LLC, out of Morristown, Pa.

Although Nicklaus no longer has an ownership interest in the complex, Nicklaus still has his corporate headquarters there, which includes his renowned golf course design firm, Nicklaus Design.

In a March interview, Merin predicted the sale would range from between $65 million to $68 million. He was close, off by less than $2 million.

With an 83 percent occupancy level, the building still has some room for more tenants, creating upside potential for the next owner. This is especially appealing to potential buyers because the area office market is 92 percent leased, meaning there is very little vacant office space available.

Cook said lease rates at Golden Bear range from $24 to $28 per square foot, not including taxes, maintenance and insurance.

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