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FORT LAUDERDALE, FL-Equipped with a $20-million loan from Des Moines-based Principal Life Insurance Co., Stiles Capital Partners, which is based here, has bought First Fort Lauderdale Place, a class A office building in the CBD, for an undisclosed price. The 11-story, 165,757-sf building is 73% occupied, and major tenants include Ernst & Young, Oppenheimer, RSM McGladrey and Prudential.

Fred Welker and Bob Bradley, managing directors of the Miami office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, arranged the loan from Principal Life. It has a five-year term and a fixed rate of 5.1%, according to Welker. Dan Carlo, senior managing director, and Danny Finkle, director in the same HFF office, represented the seller, which is identified only as a major institutional owner of real estate. The property was clear of debt at the time of the transaction.

Carlo tells GlobeSt.com the building “has enjoyed a high tenant-retention ratio and has substantial value creation opportunities through lease-up.” He also suggests the location just north of Broward Boulevard will benefit long-term because of the significant amount of new residential development underway nearby. Calls to Stiles were not returned by deadline.

The full-service rental rate for stabilized office buildings in the CBD is $29 per sf, according to a second-quarter report from the local office of Jones Lang LaSalle, which says the Downtown direct vacancy rate decreased from 19.3% in the first quarter of this year to $18.1%. The report also notes that the proposed Stiles development of 200 Brickell, a 144,000-sf building near Los Olas Riverfront, is currently on hold and adds that Stiles’ “inventory exceeds one million sf of class A space within this prestigious corridor and dominates the area with a near 30% market share.”

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