Some of our best transactions have taken, quite literally, years to mature. Our acquisitions team established a relationship with the largest office owner in Boulder, and over time we discussed acquisition structures on a varying mix of his portfolio. After two years of conversations, we uncovered more of the owner’s motivations: retain employment for his team, keep some of his sale liquidity working at higher interest, and offload a portfolio in another city. We tenaciously pursued the opportunity because we understood that the conditions of the submarket – low vacancy, low supply, low landlord TIs, and profitable tenants with a strong desire to be at this address – indicated that the property would likely experience much higher rents than precedent suggested.
Our acquisitions team works closely with our in-market personnel to pursue deals outside of the traditional channels of commodity offerings.
If we could control a large enough base of the inventory and see other like-minded investors enter the market, we could fundamentally alter the submarket rental rate structure. But to access the 1.1 million square feet in Boulder, we needed to also acquire the seller’s 500,000 square foot portfolio in Fort Collins, which was not a target geography for us. Drawing upon our network of private-investor relationships, we found a buyer group that would take the Fort Collins portfolio at closing so that our institutional fund would avoid exposure to a tertiary submarket. Our acquisition of the remaining 1.1 million square foot off-market acquisition Boulder portfolio (later awarded BizWest’s Commercial Real Estate “Deal of the Year”) allowed us to become one of the largest landlords in the city, where we have since risen rental rates by over 60% and realized a 2.0x multiple on the exited components.