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RICHMOND, VA-BH Properties LLC, a privately held real estate investment firm in Los Angeles, plans to double its investment pipeline next year to $160 million nationwide. Of that, the firm plans to spend $25 million in largely unlevered dollars in the mid-Atlantic region, emphasizing the southern states of Virginia as well as North and South Carolina.

Steve Jaffe, executive vice president and General Counsel for BH Properties, tells GlobeSt.com that a portion of its investment dollars are leveraged, usually by 50%. However the company’s sweet spot are value-add, empty retail, office and industrial properties between $2 million and $8 million, which means its investment allocation for the region will stretch to acquire four or five properties.

This city is likely to be a focus. The firm just completed the acquisition of the former headquarters of Owens & Minor, a 63,000-sf class A office building for $6 million. Located at 4800 Cox Rd. in Innsbrook Corporate Center, Jaffe says this building is BH’s first acquisition in the Richmond market.

“We tend to go back to markets once we make one investment, if only because it saves on travel time for us,” he says. That said, the company is an opportunistic buyer, he adds. “We look at markets that we think have opportunities for growth and we like what we saw in Richmond.”

Phillip Dunn, director of real estate for BH Properties, tells GlobeSt.com that the building is temporarily occupied by FEMA, which is moving out at the end of the year. Its leasing agency, Cushman & Wakefield affiliate Thalhimer has received several letters of intent from various firms. Dunn says the company, after spending $2 million on cosmetic improvements, will lease the building to multiple tenants. The asking rate is between $18 per sf to $20 per sf.

It was a great buy, he says, largely because it was empty. “It was already class A, we are upgrading to class A plus. Also the park in which it is located is a first class area.”

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