ATLANTA-2525 Durham Assoc. LLC of New York has paid one of the highest per-sf prices for an office building this year in the Durham, NC market with the acquisition of the five-year-old, 100%-leased, 83,675-sf EPA Lab structure for $11.5 million, $137.44 per sf. The long-term lease tenant is the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory.

The building was on the market for only 90 days and closed in 75 days, Jerry M. Levit, a senior director of the North Carolina office of Advantis Real Estate Services Co./GVA, tells He says he hasn’t heard of a higher per-sf office price this year. The seller was Ralden II Limited Partnership of Baltimore, MD.

“This sale demonstrates the attractiveness of leases backed by the United States government,” Levit says. “In this time of economic and corporate instability, General Services Administration leases remain a particularly attractive low-risk investment.” GSA is the country’s largest office landlord, leasing space for all of the federal government’s agencies.

On the premium $137.44 per-sf price, Levit says, “Despite the highly specialized nature of the building, we were able to achieve an aggressive sales price was due, in part, to the low interest rate environment in which we find ourselves.”

In the same statement, Advantis’ managing director Neal Friedman says the sale “also points to the acceptance of dedicated biotech laboratory space as an investment vehicle, particularly in the presence of strong tenant credit.” The estimated cap rate on the transaction was 9.5%.

Advantis/GVA executive director Scott Stankavage helped buyer and seller in evaluating the market for biotech lab space, Levit says.

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