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TAMPA, FL-Jacksonville-based Flagler Development Group Inc. has acquired the 170,924-sf Bridgeport Center office building for $29.5 million. The nine-story office property is located within the city’s Westshore Business District.

It was 96% occupied at the time of the sale. The seller, Boston-based AEW Capital Management LP, was represented by Cushman & Wakefield senior director Mike Davis and associate director Rick Brugge. According to public records, AEQ bought the property in December 2005 for $24.2 million. “The property was being sold because the seller had reached its investment target,” Davis tells GlobeSt.com.

Davis adds that this is Flagler Development’s first office acquisition in Tampa. The company is developing Lakeland Central Park, a 733-acre corporate site in Lakeland, and Lakeland Distribution Center on a 117-acre site. “The purchaser feels that there is upside potential from a rental rate perspective,” he says.

He added that this is one of the first properties that have been sold in the area since the credit crunch. The property sold at a 5.77% cap rate, which is low considering current market conditions. “Bridgeport Center sold for nearly as much as Cushman & Wakefield estimated it would before the recent credit crunch,” Davis says. “This is indicative that buyers are remaining bullish about properties in the Tampa Bay area.”

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