PALM BEACH, FL—Office condos were once a hot trend. Although that trend fizzled, apparently it’s not completely dead. Indeed, the Sanctuary Centre is reporting recent office condo sales have brought the180,442-square-foot business center’s available 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,” says George Sacks, managing principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services. His firm has closed five sales since December and has two additional sales under contract. These deals have reduced available Sanctuary Centre condo office space to under 10,000 square feet.
Built in the mid-1980s, Sanctuary Centre is located North Federal Highway and Yamato Road. Its previous owner converted the complex to office condos. GS Sanctuary Financial Investors, which is also run by Sacks, purchased the 80,000 square feet that remained unsold in 2007. That was shortly before the weak economy and zoning changes dramatically impacted Boca Raton’s office absorption trends.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Sacks says. “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. Now, with resurgence of Federal Highway’s business corridor well underway, we’ve reverted back to a sales-focused campaign.”
Sacks reports demand from buyers with stable office space needs who recognize that timing is everything. These buyers, he says, are compare buying to leasing and moving to lock in space costs at today’s low interest rates before area rents start climbing. Sanctuary Centre’s values are up 30% from the lows of the economic downturn, according to Sacks.
“Purchasing our suite gave me more strategic control over my space than would be possible with leasing,” says Tony Acquaviva, US Mortgage of Florida owner, who owns his office space. “It’s just minutes from my home to our office, and that’s a major advantage.”