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BETHLEHEM, PA-Bellhaven Commerce Way LP, which acquired the flex building at 77 S. Commerce Way for $3 million in December 2004, has sold it for $4.5 million, or $61.43 per sf. The three-story, 70,000-sf asset was constructed in 1998 as one of two headquarters facilities for Piercing Pagoda.

Prior to its completion, however, Dallas-based Zale Corp. acquired the company that operates ear-piercing kiosks. Zale put this and the Piercing Pagoda building at 3910 Adler Place up for sale and moved Piercing Pagoda to Dallas. Following its 2004 acquisition, Bellhaven, a local investor group, renamed the 77 S. Commerce Way building Commerce Business Center, but never landed a tenant.

Meanwhile, in continuing expansion throughout the Lehigh Valley, St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network has developed a facility across the street from the building. The newest buyer, also a local investor identified as 77 South Commerce Way Development LP, plans to convert Commerce Business Center into a multi-tenant medical office building to serve St. Luke’s.

Matthew Dorman and Frank Smith of Allentown-based Summit Management and Realty Co. represented Bellhaven. Christopher Shiban, also of Summit, represented the buyer. Dorman tells the new owner has already lined up tenants. “The buyer is investing in medical office fit-outs, and will take the building occupancy to 100%,” he says.

The building is located in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park IV. On condition of anonymity, a broker familiar with office properties in LVIP IV tells the average asking rent rate is in the range of $12 per sf, triple net.

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