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PASADENA, CA-The Wells Real Estate Investment Trust of Atlanta has acquired the 176,000-sf Koll Pasadena Center at 1055 E. Colorado Blvd. Downtown from Dallas-based Koll Development Co. for $38 million, according to the buyer and the seller.

The five-story office center was built in 2001 and is one of the city’s newest office buildings. The anchor tenant is Paracel, a biotech firm that occupies nearly half of the space in the building.

The acquisition follows a recent announcement by Wells that it plans to invest $500 million in Southern California properties, and the REITs chief investment officer, David Steinwedell, called the transaction a first step toward that goal. He says Wells liked the property for its combination of the Pasadena location and quality tenants on long-term leases.

The Koll Pasadena Center is the fifth building sold to Wells by Koll Development Co. in the past two years, according to Mike Parker, division president at Koll. The site is designed around a central courtyard and water feature. Besides Paracel, tenants at the building include Health Net, TD Warehouse, the federal government and Kaiser Permanente.

The sale was brokered by Secured Capitals Jay Borzi, Steve Silk and Steven Somer, as well as the CB Richard Ellis team of Patrick Church and Kevin Duffy. Wells, a purchaser of office and industrial properties nationwide, plans to spend $2.5 billion on acquisitions in 2003, according to a company statement. The REIT was the largest purchaser of class-A office buildings in the US in 2002, according to New York-based Real Capital Analytics, completing 30 transactions totaling more than $1.4 billion.

Koll Development Co. provides commercial real estate services including corporate build-to-suit development, acquisitions, corporate facility project/construction management, project financing, asset and land management and marketing and leasing. Besides its headquarters in Dallas, it has offices in Detroit, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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