Feldman JV Acquires First Central Tower in Downtown St Pete

ExteriorA joint venture consisting of affiliates of Feldman Equities, Tower Realty Partners and Second City Real Estate, has acquired First Central Tower, a 17-story, 250,000 square foot office building located at 360 Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg. Larry Feldman, CEO of Feldman Equities will spearhead leasing and redevelopment efforts while Tower Realty Partners will handle management responsibilities.

The group intends to invest nearly $10 million dollars in building renovations and tenant improvements. After taking into account known tenant move-outs, the building is approximately 50% occupied. “As with our other downtown acquisitions, this is yet another opportunity for us to do what we do best – renovating and upgrading office buildings in order to maximize their value,” commented co-owner Larry Feldman, CEO of Feldman Equities. “Downtown St. Pete has a higher quality of life than almost any other downtown in the state. It is a truly “walkable downtown” with hundreds of acres of dedicated city parks that run along the waterfront. Within walking distance from First Central Tower, there are 7 museums, over 45 restaurants, a theater for the performing arts, a major league baseball stadium and nearly a dozen marinas. Downtown St. Pete is in in the midst of an impressive revitalization with thousands of new residential units planned or under construction. We are thrilled to be a part of this re-urbanization trend.”

Our City Center and Morgan Stanley Tower buildings are currently both over 95% leased. Excluding First Central Tower, the three major office buildings in downtown have an average occupancy well over 90%.

Redevelopment plans for First Central Tower include an extensive lobby renovation, upgraded tenant floor elevator lobbies, tenant corridors and restrooms. In addition, ownership is planning an amenity package which will include a concierge desk, state-of-the-art luxury fitness center and conference center. In keeping with current office space trends towards hip, high-tech spaces some of the lower floors will be converted to prebuilt, multi-tenant spaces with common lounge areas. The lounge area will include soft seating, large flat screen TVs, IPad chairs and free WIFI. Mechanical/system upgrades will include completely new elevator systems and cabs. The parking garage will be upgraded with a new electronic door entrance and upgraded lighting. In addition, air conditioning systems will be upgraded throughout the building.

First Central Tower is anchored by BB&T Bank whose name tops the building, Abbey Adams Law, Traub Lieberman Law and United Insurance. Tenants on the building’s upper floors enjoy beautiful views of Tampa Bay and the St Petersburg skyline. Located in the heart of St. Petersburg’s central business district, First Central Tower sits on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and 4th Street.

First Central Tower is the third downtown St. Petersburg acquisition for Feldman/Tower. The group also owns Morgan Stanley Tower, a 190,000 square foot office building and the 242,000 square foot City Center. In addition, Feldman/Tower owns the 390,000 square foot Wells Fargo Center in downtown Tampa. Until recently, the group also owned the Fountain Square II office building located in Tampa. Within two years of the purchase and redevelopment of each office building, ownership increased occupancy significantly – Morgan Stanley Tower from 65% to 96%; City Center from 44% to over 94%; Wells Fargo Center from 75% to 93% and Fountain Square II from 69% to 99%. The venture sold Fountain Square earlier this year.

Over the last 20 years, Feldman Equities and Tower Realty Partners have successfully joint ventured on the acquisition of millions of square feet of underperforming office buildings. The venture plans to aggressively expand their portfolio of Class A office properties.

About Feldman Equities, LLC
Feldman Equities is the modern business entity that encompasses a century of success in commercial real estate development. In the last 25 years, Larry Feldman has developed or acquired over 11 million square feet of office and retail properties with an aggregate value in excess of $2.5 billion. Feldman Equities is recognized for its hands-on approach to turning around distressed assets. Feldman gained a national reputation as a property turnaround specialist when he was the Chairman and CEO of the publicly traded Tower Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: TOW).

About Tower Realty Partners
Tower Realty Partners is an Orlando-based commercial real estate owner focusing on value-added opportunities throughout the state of Florida. Tower’s principals are Cliff Stein and Reid Berman. Since its inception, Tower has acquired over $1 billion of office properties. Currently, Tower’s assets consist of over 4 million square feet office property throughout Florida.

About Second City Real Estate
Second City Real Estate (“SCRE”) is a private equity company headquartered in Vancouver. SCRE is a multi-fund private equity group, targeting mid-market companies and distressed real estate assets across Canada and the U.S. SCRE offers investors a range of alternative investment solutions and strategies through a multifaceted venture platform. SCRE seeks controlled buyout structures including minority equity interest positions with trusted partners.

Related: Why Tenant Credit Is So Important

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