Sacks Finds “Sweet Spot” In Boca Office Market

Apr 28, 2013 No Comments by

Finding a “sweet spot” in South Florida’s shifting market, Sanctuary Centre’s  recent sales have brought the 180,442-square-foot business center’s available condo office space close to sell-out.

“As local market inventory steadily shrinks, we’ve found renewed interest in condo office space from professional firms and regional companies that want an east Boca Raton presence, without top-tier pricing,” said Commercial Florida Realty Services Managing Principal George Sacks.  Closing five sales since December, with two additional sales under contract, has reduced available Sanctuary Centre condo office space to under 10,000 square feet.

Sanctuary CentreSanctuary Centre, located at North Federal Highway and Yamato Road, was built in the mid-1980s, and its previous owner later converted the complex to condominium.  GS Sanctuary Financial Investors Principal George Sacks purchased the 80,000 square feet that remained unsold in 2007, shortly before the weak economy and zoning changes dramatically impacted Boca Raton’s office absorption trends.

“It’s been a wild ride,” Sacks said. “We knew we had a great asset in a prime location, and by staying agile, we’ve kept Sanctuary Centre successful. When the economy turned in 2008 – and as relaxed zoning shifted momentum away from Federal Highway to Boca’s northwest section — we converted the remaining space to a lease program,” he added.  “Now, with resurgence of Federal Highway’s business corridor well underway, we’ve reverted back to a sales focused campaign.

“We’re seeing demand from buyers with stable office space needs, who recognize that timing is everything,” Sacks said. “They compare buying vs. leasing, and look to lock in space costs at today’s low interest rates, before area rents start climbing.”  Availability of 90 percent SBA financing limits the up-front investment companies need to make.  The Sanctuary Centre office suites range from 850 to 8,500 square feet.

Recent sales at Sanctuary Centre have included:

  • ProTech, a Florida and New York IT staffing and professional services firm, which expanded its existing space at Sanctuary Centre by 2,000 square feet.
  • Florida PIP Law Firm, purchasing a 3,852 square-foot office suite.
  • Oxford Investments, a financial services company, purchased a 1500-square-foot office suite.
  • US Mortgage of Florida bought a 5,839 square-foot office suite.

As office property values gradually recover, Sanctuary Centre is drawing condo sales based on its unique position, Sacks said.  “Our space’s property values are up 25 to 30 percent from the lows of the economic downturn.  Companies see the advantages of investing on the upswing, while controlling future costs.  Office condo space is rare in the Boca market, though,” he added.

“New buildings’ construction costs were too high to be practical for condo development, and there were very few condo conversions of existing buildings.  As an older but beautifully maintained complex, we’ve found ourselves in a sweet spot for small space users who want East Boca’s business environment, plus proximity to I-95, the waterfront neighborhoods and western country club communities.”

For US Mortgage of Florida, a licensed lender with offices along the nation’s East Coast, Sanctuary Centre was a timely opportunity.  “Purchasing our suite gave me more strategic control over my space than would be possible with leasing,” said Tony Acquaviva, US Mortgage of Florida owner.  “It’s just minutes from my home to our office, and that’s a major advantage.”

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