Freedom Center

ORLANDO—Crocker Partners just acquired two recently foreclosed Florida office parks. The distressed assets acquisitions add more than 1.3 million square feet to the company’s portfolio.

Crocker acquired Freedom Commerce Center, a 752,000-square-foot, seven-building complex in Jacksonville, for $28 million. Crocker also snapped up Orlando University Center, a 386,000-square foot, five-building center, for $33.5 million. Crocker Partners previously owned the assets and sold them in 2005 to a private equity firm.

“We are well positioned to add value for our investors with these two new assets,” says Crocker managing partner Tom Crocker. “By employing aggressive asset management and leasing strategies, we expect to reposition the assets in an improving economy allowing us to achieve outsized returns.”

Crocker Partners purchased Freedom Commerce Center at 37% occupancy for $37 per square foot after selling the asset 99% leased for over $140 per square foot in 2005. Likewise, the company acquired Orlando University Center at 69% occupancy for $87 per square foot while it had previously sold the asset at 94% leased for over $160 per square foot.

These latest acquisitions bring Crocker Partners’ portfolio to more than 5 million square feet, totaling more than $900 million in transactions. Crocker invested $750 million of that within the past two years.

The latest acquisitions follow the company’s purchase of high-profile properties in the Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Houston markets. Crocker acquired the 18-story, 432,000-square-foot Prominence office tower and the adjacent 6.4-acre land parcel in Atlanta’s Buckhead submarket for $105 million last summer. Crocker now owns and/or manages approximately 2.5 million square feet of office space in the Atlanta market.

Crocker also has a prominent position in the Miami CBD as the largest landlord in the market. The company acquired the Miami Center, a 34-story, 803,000-square-foot trophy office building in June 2012 for $262.5 million in the largest office transaction in Miami since 2008. Crocker also owns SunTrust International Center in Downtown Miami and One Financial Plaza in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

“Our primary strategy focuses on top-tier assets in secondary markets,” Crocker says. “We seek out quality assets in urban, in-fill locations that are attractive relative to replacement cost.  Of course, we always keep our eyes open for compelling opportunistic deals, such as our recent Orlando and Jacksonville acquisitions.”