BuffaloNews.com - January 13, 2011, 2010
HealthNow New York's corporate headquarters has been sold in what may appears to be the second-largest commercial real estate deal in Buffalo history.
A Phoenix-based real estate investment firm has completed its previously announced purchase of the landmark building and adjacent parking garage, paying $84.5 million for the 469,000-square-foot complex.
Cole Real Estate Investments bought the Class A office complex at 257 W. Genesee St. downtown from Duke Realty Corp. of Indianapolis, which built the environmentally friendly, silver-LEED-certified facility in 2007 for $110 million.
The highest amount ever paid for a Buffalo-area commercial property is believed to be $95 million forked over in 2005 by Seneca One Realty of New York City for the One HSBC Center office tower, Buffalo's tallest building. That included $85 million for the tower itself and $10 million for a parking garage across the street, which is linked to the tower by a bridge.
Other notable deals: In 2005, a Nebraska real estate company bought the Niagara Center at 130 S. Elmwood Ave. for $70 million; and KeyCenter at Fountain Plaza sold for $41 million in 2001.
"The HealthNow property is known as a distinctive landmark building that offers magnificent views of Lake Erie," said Joseph Garibaldi, a managing director at national real estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle, which handled the deal for Duke.
Duke, which had begun the search for a buyer months ago, had always planned to sell the building eventually and had indicated last summer that the timing seemed right.
The sale does not affect HealthNow, parent of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, or its 1,300 employees in the landmark building. HealthNow will continue to occupy the eight-story building, located next to the Niagara Thruway, under a lease through July 2024.
"The strong pricing we achieved for this is testament to the quality of the asset and the investment-grade tenancy of HealthNow," said Peter Nicoletti, another Jones Lang managing director. "This sale will allow Duke Realty to reposition its portfolio and concentrate in markets where they already have a strong presence."
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