MIAMI—Rivergate Tower, a Class A, 515,965-square-foot iconicoffice building in Tampa, Florida, justtraded hands. The office building is locatedat 400 North Ashley Drive.

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BankUnited provided a $58 million loan for thepurchase and planned renovations. The CBRE team includedChristian Lee, Dale Peterson,Charles Foschini, Chris Apone,Jose Lobon, and Marcos Minaya.BankUnited's Gregory Santín handled the financialarrangements.

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“The Tampa CBD has experienced 135,000 square feet of positiveabsorption over the last 18 months, filling up office buildings andmotivating owners to become sellers,” ChristianLee, vice chairman of CBRE, tells GlobeSt.com. “Meanwhile,with class A vacancy approaching single digits, the investmentcommunity is confident that sharp rent growth is around the corner.This optimism has created the right environment for buyer andseller expectations to come together. This was a classic win-wintransaction, and a pleasure to be involved with.”

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The sale of Rivergate Tower is the third recent Tampa CBDoffice tower sale that CBRE has brokered in thelast year, following Wells Fargo Plaza and Fifth Third Center.CBRE represented the seller in the transaction,IR-Rivergate, a venture between MountKellett Capital Management and Morning CalmManagement.

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“The influx of new residents and amenities into the urban coreis driving demand for office space,” DalePeterson, senior vice president at CBRE, tellsGlobeSt.com. “Class A office assets in thissubmarket are enjoying a market vacancy hovering around 10% andstand to benefit further from the submarket's revitalization.Rivergate Tower will become one of the premier class A buildings inthe downtown market once the new owner completes its plannedrenovation program.”

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Constructed in 1988 for $150 million, and designed by architectHarry Wolf, the 31-story Rivergate Tower's uniquecylindrical design symbolizes a lighthouse and represents optimism.It is one of the tallest limestone structures in the world andoffers unobstructed 360-degree views of the Tampa skyline.

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Mount Kellett Capital Management acquiredRivergate Tower as part of a 19-property portfolio in the fourthquarter of 2014, with Morning Calm Management serving as itsoperating partner,” Mukang Cho, CEO and principal ofMorning Calm Management, tells GlobeSt.com. “The3-million-square-foot portfolio consisted of a diverse mix ofoffice and retail properties, and offered both the opportunity tocreate value via lease-up and repositioning with select assets, andthe ability to immediately unlock value on certain properties thatwere stabilized.”

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Rivergate's architecture makes it an easily recognizablelandmark, and earned it a National Honor Award from the AmericanInstitute of Architects in 1993. Property amenities include atwo-story, 735-space underground parking garage, Malio's PrimeSteakhouse, a high-quality fitness facility, an upscale breakfastand lunch emporium, a full-service branch bank and ATM, conferencerooms and complimentary valet parking. The onlyoffice building located directly on the TampaRiverwalk, it is located within a two-block radius of 90% ofdowntown amenities including the University of Tampa and the StrazCenter for the Performing Arts.

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“During the last few months, we have conducted an in-depthanalysis of each asset and systematically taken properties tomarket when we believed there were opportunities to generateattractive returns,” says Cho. “Rivergate Tower was the sixthproperty that met our criteria.” The property is currently 80%leased to tenants including multinational and national and regionalcorporate tenants including; Sykes Enterprises, Butler Pappas,Wilson Human Capital, Digital Hands and Northstar Bank.

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