The deal, for just less than $376 per sf, is one of the highestever paid for a property in the Detroit area, says John Gordy, SVPand principal with Signature Associates. The company handled theleasing in the building. Gordy says he brought Intercontinental tothe table. "They were looking at several other assets in the area,and I presented the building before it was available," he tellsGlobeSt.com. "It's arguably the best trophy building of its size inthe entire marketplace; as it is only one year old, mixed use andin one of the top markets in the region."

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The tenant mix also had a large part to play, Gordy says. Thebuilding's first floor is retail, which includes a coffee shop anda Fleming's Steak House, and two floors of office space, occupiedby finance firms UBS, Oppenheimer and Raymond James. Google alsorecently agreed to lease 20,000 sf, resulting in the office spacebeing 97% leased. The top floor is condominiums, with 16 units atopthe building, but these were not included in the sale. The propertyalso includes a 48-space underground parking garage.

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Gordy wouldn't detail the office lease rate in the building, butsays the tenants are "paying the highest rents in the marketplace."The average class A office rate is $30.75 in the Birmingham market,according to a third-quarter market report by Grubb &Ellis.

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Burton-Katzman usually holds onto its properties, but thecompany felt it had maximized the property, Gordy says. "Theyleased it up to outstanding credit tenants, and were able to cashin on the efforts," he says. Downtown Birmingham, about eight milesnorth of the northern Detroit border, is one of the most popularoffice and retail locations in the state.

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