DENVER-In a move that caught the local real estate community by surprise, the Australian owner of the Invesco headquarters buildings in the west Denver Tech Center may be selling the property. The possible sale is puzzling, because Sydney-based Challenger Financial Services Group bought the campus for the mutual fund company only last year.

It paid $57.8 million or a record $219 per sf for the two-building, 263,770-sf campus. Invesco, which is still trying to settle charges that it allowed late trading for some investors, has a 15-year lease on its buildings, although many local experts feel the odds are good it will largely leave Denver long before then, although it will still be on the hook for the lease payments. Indeed, the company leases most of the larger of the two buildings, but most of the second building is available for sublease deals.

But Challenger, in a recent press release issued from Australia, says it only has two properties remaining in the US–the Invesco Funds Corporate Campus and 50 Milk St. in Boston–and the company will “explore” their sales. Challenger says the two properties are worth $240 million in Australian dollars, which is the equivalent to about $169 million.

Challenger chief executive officer Chris Cuffe says the company‘s decision to explore the sale of the Denver and Boston properties is a “result of considerable interest” since Challenger announced it was exploring the foreign property sales.

“We‘ve received significant enquiry about the remaining US properties since announcing the sale of our UK and Las Cimas properties … and as such we believe it now makes sense to also explore the sale of these two remaining foreign properties to take advantage of competitive market conditions,” Cuffe says. “We are an active property manager and always willing to explore opportunities to bring forward returns that we had not expected until future years.”

However, Challanger plans to keep its Australian properties, which account for about 60% of its portfolio, he says. “Our domestic properties are good quality assets and continue to be economically attractive for us to hold,” according to Cuffe. “Should we go ahead with the sale of any of our overseas properties, the proceeds will be invested in liquid bearing securities pending identification of other appropriate investment opportunities.”

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