COLUMBIA, SC-HRPT Properties Trust has acquired Synergy Business Park from Harbor Group International, LLC of Norfolk, VA. The new owner, based in Newton, MA, paid $51.1 million for the eight-building office complex.

Synergy Business Park contains 536,160 sf and is located 10 minutes from Downtown, The property was 94% leased at the time of the sale, according to Grubb & Ellis, which brokered the deal. “The sale of Synergy Business Park demonstrates the continued interest of national investors in secondary markets,” explains Eric Berkman, senior vice president of Grubb & Ellis.

Berkman tells that the complex was on the market for 30 days, and the closing took 45 days. He adds that Synergy Business Park drew a lot of attention from interested buyers. “This was a yield deal. It is a well-maintained, well-managed, 99%-occupied property with an attractive yield and very little downsize risk,” he explains. There was some movement between the time the complex hit the market and the deal closed, accounting for the drop in occupancy at closing, he adds.

HRPT Properties Trust was not the highest bidder, but had a previously relationship with the bidder and “able to execute the deal from start to finish in 45 days,” Berkman says.

Synergy Business Park is situated on nearly 35 acres two miles from the intersection of Interstate 20 and Interstate 26. The eight buildings range from 45,423 sf to 132,173 sf, according to Harbor Group International’s website. The park also features 2,300 spaces, with a parking ratio of 4.5 spaces per 1,000 sf. Berkman tells the complex has 87 tenants, with the State of South Carolina coming in as the largest single tenant with approximately 34% of the office space.

According to Colliers Keenan 2005 Year-End Office Market report for Columbia, the office market here continued to improve over the second half of last year. Average rental rates rose from $13.80 per sf at mid-year to $14.12 per sf at year’s end 2005.

Berkman, Steve Gichner, Brian MacDonald and Juliana Ko, all of Grubb & Ellis’ Washington, DC office, along with Martin Moore, Billy Way, Aaron Dupree and Ben Johnson of Grubb & Ellis

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