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DENVER-Locally based Northstar Commercial Properties, founded a little more than a year ago by former Cushman and Wakefield brokers Brian Watson and Natasha Felten, bought the five-building Benjamin Moore real estate portfolio in cities across the US. Together, the portfolio includes 500,518 sf in buildings with a total of 45.72 acres.

The price was not disclosed.

Northstar initiated the purchase by asking the New Jersey-based company if it would be willing to sell its historic building in the fledgling Ballpark neighborhood near Coors Field in Downtown Denver.

Benjamin Moore had been using the building for storage, although its best and highest use is considered loft housing. When the company was receptive to selling, Watson suggested it consider selling him and Felten their entire portfolio of excess and non-strategic real estate.

Benjamin Moore, founded in 1881, about a year and a half ago was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway, the Omaha-based company headed by legendary investor Warren Buffett.

Northstar’s partner in the purchase was a local legend, at least when it came to investing in commercial real estate. Steve Leonard, who now lives in San Diego, came into Denver in the tail end of the local real estate recession in the early ’90s and started buying offices, industrial and retail properties. He later sold the portfolio near the top of the market for $425 million, in some of the largest portfolio sales ever in Denver.

Leonard says Benjamin Moore was a motivated seller and they were able to buy the properties at a price that allows them to deal with each building on a one-by-one basis.

Currently, Northstar is listing the Benjamin Moore building in Denver for $4.2 million.

The property includes an adjacent 1.65 acres that can be developed.

The other properties are found in Melrose Park, IL; Commerce City, CA; Jacksonville, FL; and Colonial Heights, VA.

Northstar will purchase a sixth building with 106,000 sf in Cleveland from Benjamin Moore later this year.

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