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COLUMBUS-The Order of the United Commercial Travelers of America, a fraternal insurance group, is selling its headquarters building at 632 Park St. here, and has agreed to lease about 21,000 sf at Watermark Island, a 90,000-sf office building on an island in the Downtown market. The three-story property at 1801 Watermark Dr, constructed in the middle of an old stone quarry, had been almost fully leased to Blue Cross until the company found other space Downtown.

Greg Weber with the Daimler Group represented the owner of Watermark, with assistance from Bob White Jr. Weber tells GlobeSt.com that United made the move because of the uniqueness of the building, which has gated access, a courtyard, pond and a day care. The company signed a five-year lease, he says. The island was created from fill left from the construction of the Downtown convention center eight years ago. H2O Island LLC owns the building. The ownership entity is comprised of the Showe Family, Capital Square Ltd., and individuals from the Daimler Group Inc.

The Watermark building, built for Blue Cross in 2000, is now about 75% leased, Weber says. The asking price is $13.95 per sf, he says. It’s been a slow lease-up process because of the economy, he says. “We’re still struggling, like a lot of Midwest markets. The overall Columbus office vacancy is about 20%,” Weber says.

United is leaving their 85-year-old building because of proposed hotel development, Weber says. The Pizzuti Group is reportedly going to build a block-long, mixed-use development that will include a 160-room hotel, a 500-space parking garage, a 50,000-sf office and residential building and about 12,000 sf of retail.

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