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AUSTIN-A little more than a year after buying the 642,622-sf Amber Oaks Corporate Center, Chase Merritt has sold the 10-building office campus to CB Richard Ellis Investors on behalf of a Middle Eastern client. The price was kept under wraps due to confidentiality clauses, however, area sources say similar assets are trading for $230 per sf to $240 per sf.

Chris Dornin, chief investment officer for the Newport Beach, CA-based seller, says the original intent was to hold the campus at Amberglen Boulevard and Briarwick Drive for five years. “We executed our business plan in a shorter amount of time than we’d anticipated,” he says. “The market was strong so we decided to sell.”

Chase Merritt and equity partner Buchanan Street Partners had acquired eight of the 10 buildings in 2006–the 206,770-sf, three-building Amber Oaks III in June and a few months later, the five-building, 281,885-sf Amber Oaks V. The combined occupancy is 90%.

The two-building Amber Oaks II, totaling 153,967 sf, was still under development when the lion’s share of the campus was bought. Its developer Transwestern completed it last month.

Chad Horning, Chase Merritt’s president and CEO, explains that Buchanan Street Partners of Newport Beach wasn’t involved with the vacant Amber Oaks II. “What we did was sell our position in Amber Oaks II to CBREI and everything closed concurrently,” Horning tells GlobeSt.com.

Horning says the portfolio wasn’t widely marketed, but it did attract a great deal of interest from potential investors. He says a prior relationship with Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Investors is why it became the buyer.

Chase Merritt also is marketing its five-building, 288,348-sf Chase Park at 7600 Chevy Chase Dr., which is about 10 miles northwest of Amber Oaks Corporate Center. Horning says the action doesn’t represent a pull-out from Austin or Texas. “We really like Austin. We like the fundamentals and still have projects there and are looking at other projects there,” he says.

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