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BOCA RATON, FL-Rumors have proved to be true, as the trophy office building The Plaza located here has been sold. Sources close to the deal say the 11-story, 145,344-sf, class A building was sold for approximately $30 million, or about $206.40 per sf.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. purchased the building from 485 Properties LLC, a subsidiary of Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association, which owned the property since the early 1990s.

“The property truly is one of the few trophy properties in the area,” says Mike Erickson, first vice president with the Palm Beach County office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. and a broker involved in the transaction.

So why did the owners sell it? “It was just something they had targeted as part of their annual review” of properties owned, Erickson says. “They’re such a huge organization. They look at the timing and the opportunity. They thought the market conditions would provide an appropriate value for disposition at this time,” he adds.

The building, located at 5355 Town Center Road, was 82% occupied at press time. Tenants in the building include Wachovia, Prudential Securities and CBRE.

Erickson, Chris Lee and Richard Tarquinio of CBRE represented 485 Properties and were the only brokers involved in the sale.

The Plaza is situated in the strong Palm Beach County office submarket of the city. “The rebound of the Boca Raton submarket has been predicted and based on transactions such as this seems to be well under way,” Erickson says. “The overall environment is one of increased activity. Vacancies are decreasing, and rents are beginning to stabilize, if not rise again.”

The Plaza is Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.’s first purchase in Palm Beach County. The company does own other South Florida real estate, mostly in Miami.

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