FT. LAUDERDALE, FL-Local investor Bruce Weiner purchased the89,503-square-foot Boca Corporate Plaza from Invesco Real Estatefor $8.6 million, or $96 per square foot on June 1. The 23-year-oldbuilding, located on the east side of the Florida Turnpike atGlades Road, is 30% occupied, says Christian Lee, vice chairman ofCB Richard Ellis’s Miami office, who was one of the brokers in thedeal representing the seller.

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Under the new ownership, the property will receive a cosmeticrenovation, says Lee. The Boca Corporate Plaza is located in a22-acre mixed-use lakeside development, which includes a Hiltonhotel and numerous restaurants and retail shops, he says. Majoroffice tenants include the Almaco Group, Inc., which builds modularunits for ships, Ft. Lauderdale-based Spherion Atlantic Resources,a temp agency, and Tampa-based DEX Imaging, which sells and leasesoffice equipment.

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The Boca Corporate Plaza has a high vacancy rate because theeconomy in Boca Raton is very soft, says Lee, so when an officebuilding loses tenants, it is hard to replace them. “This buildinghad several unlucky situations in which tenants sold out or wentout of business,” he says.

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“The Boca Raton office market has an approximately 30% vacancyrate,” says Lee. “The financial services industry was hit hard andthere were a lot of bankruptcies and consolidations and even thosecompanies which are still in business have chosen to downsize,” hesays.

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“Along Federal Highway, (near the ocean and way east of theFlorida Turnpike), there were a lot of financial services firms,”says Lee. Although the western sub-markets in Boca Raton, includingthe one in which the Boca Corporate Plaza finds itself, have theirproblems, the situation is probably worse along Federal Highwaynear the Atlantic Ocean, which has been known for financialservices firms, he says. Along this street, many office buildingsare 50% vacant, says Lee.

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