DENVER-Somera Capital recently entered the metro market, paying $26.7 million for two office properties in the city’s Southeast submarket. The private real estate investment firm from Santa Barbara, CA acquired the 123,796-sf Quorum office complex within Denver Tech Center and the 134,691-sf 304 Inverness Way South building within Inverness Business Park in separate transactions.

Somera Capital SVP Tim Mitchell tells that the Quorum property was built in the middle 1970s and is about 80% occupied. The Inverness property was built in 1985 and is 85% occupied, he says. Quorum was acquired from TA Realty of Boston; Inverness was acquired from a pension fund client of Morgan Stanley, he says.

Somera has identified the Denver area as a recovering market “where we can acquire properties and increase value through capital improvements and/or enhanced leasing and property management programs,” says Mitchell, adding that the firm plans to acquire additional value-add opportunities in the recovering market. Locally based Equity West Investment Partners will represent Somera locally and oversee management and leasing.

The Quorum will be renamed the Offices at the Promenade to better reflect its location adjacent to the Belleview Promenade retail center and $1 million will be spent to renovate lobbies and common areas and establish a direct connection with the retail center. The property is zoned for approximately 100,000 sf of additional office space.

The existing development includes two buildings in a campus setting that incorporates a small pond and trails on 8.74 acres. The West building, which totals 77,268 sf, is comprised of a three-story west wing connected to a four-story east wing. The 46,528-sf East building is similarly configured with two- and three-story wings. Both buildings are located in the 7900 block of East Prentice Avenue.

The other asset, within the Inverness Business Park, is a four-story building situated at the entrance to the park, just off the intersection of Interstate 25 and County Line Road. The building has 30,000-sf floor plates, high ceilings and a granite facade. Somera plans to spend $500,000 on common area upgrades and will convert the lower level into a data center and disaster recovery space.

“With the cost of materials and current market conditions, new speculative development near-term is unlikely. These factors, coupled with an improving office environment, point to Denver as a top target for further acquisitions,” says Mitchell. “We are actively seeking additional opportunities with strong local operating partners like Equity West.”

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