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CREVE COEUR, MO –Golub & Co. has found itself back in very familiar territory in this western suburb of St. Louis. In a joint venture with Newport Beach, CA-based Buchanan Street Partners, the Chicago-based company has purchased a five-building, 346,000-sf portfolio that it owned about a decade ago.

The five buildings, which Golub officials call the Creve Coeur Portfolio, are currently about 68% occupied. John Ferguson, a senior vice president of leasing and marketing, tells GlobeSt.com that the company sees the acquisition as an opportunity to “ride the crest of a market that is improving.”

It’s also a market that Golub is familiar with, company officials say. In 2004, Golub became a co-owner of West Port Plaza, a 42-acre mixed-use property that’s just three miles north of the Creve Coeur Portfolio. At the time of that acquisition, the 700,000-sf property was 68% to 71% occupied, Ferguson says. Today, he says, it is around 94% occupied by a variety of tenants, including Wolters Kluwer, Northrop Grumman, Metal Exchange, Westport Investment Group, and Travelers. West Port Plaza, which was built between 1973 and 1984, is also leased and managed by Golub.

Golub is working with CB Richard Ellis to market the Creve Coeur Portfolio, which includes contiguous office spaces ranging from 2,000 sf to 12,000 sf. The landlord also plans to reach out to current users in the building. “We are going to do everything we can do to retain and expand existing tenants,” Ferguson says.

Like West Port Plaza, the Creve Coeur Portfolio has a few decades under its belt. The five multi-tenant buildings were constructed between 1978 and 1982. As Golub president and chief executive officer Michael Newman says, “it needs some tender-loving care.” Though no major renovations are planned, Golub officials expect to make some minor cosmetic changes, as well as improvements to the elevators, roofs and sprinklers. They’ve also been talking to tenants and brokers to find out what renters want. Some of the changes they are making or looking into include conference rooms, vending machines, hands-free restroom facilities, and on-site food service, Ferguson says.

Citing confidentiality agreements, Golub officials declined to release the acquisition price of the portfolio. The buyers were represented internally by Andrew Cathlina, senior vice president of acquisitions and finance for Golub, and John Pantone, senior vice president of Buchanan Street Partners. Kevin Bittmann, senior vice president in the St. Louis office of CB Richard Ellis Investment Properties, represented the seller, Boston-based TA/Western LLC, in the transaction. Wells Fargo Bank NA provided financing for the acquisition.

The Creve Coeur Portfolio comprises Woodcrest Center at 90,000 sf,, Bellerive Corporate Center I at 72,000 sf, Bellerive Corporate Center II at 72,000 sf, Fern Ridge Office Center at 60,000 sf, and Woodcrest Executive Center at 52,000 sf. Current tenants include Travel Leasing Corp., Brubaker & Associates, GSA, Mpower Communications Corp, and Conner Ash.

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