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AUSTIN, TX-Asset Management Consultants Inc. added to its area holdings with a buy of the 50,836-sqare-foot Arbor Square I and II office complex from local partnership Arbor Square LP. The asset, which had undergone close to $1 million in renovations before its sale, carried a $6 million price tag.

CB Richard Ellis first vice president Walter Saad and vice president Cathy Nabours tell GlobeSt.com the seller had acquired the property at 12885 Research Blvd. in 2005 at 50% occupancy. At closing, the asset’s occupancy was 98%.

“They made significant capital improvements and stabilized the asset. There was little else they could do to create value so they sold it to redeploy the capital,” says the local Saad, who teamed with colleague Nabours on behalf of the sellers.

Asset Management Consultants of Mission Hills, CA, already owns the 27,930-square-foot North Austin Medical Center at 12174-12180 N. Mopac Expy., which was acquired in October 2008. Saad says the buyer would like to expand its portfolio with more Austin-based holdings.

Saad and Nabours say local deals they handled during Q4 were similar to the Arbor Square transaction in that they were smaller and valued at less than $10 million. Other transactions closed by the team included the 29,934-square-foot Chase Bank Building at 2711 W. Anderson Lane and a 37,167-square-foot office property owned by the Brazos Higher Education Services Corp. at 300 E. Highland Mall Blvd.

“Product volume in 2008 shifted slightly from retail to office, with single-tenant, triple-net deals in highest demand,” Nabours comments. In addition, the tenant’s creditworthiness is becoming a huge factor when it comes to asset value, she adds.

So is finding the right financing. “We’re spending more time these days determining financing options available and understanding how prospective buyers are underwriting the acquisition. In this market, we’re spending a significant amount of time on the phone with lenders,” Nabours remarks.

The good news, though, is that activity levels are good, and the team anticipates a fairly active first quarter. “We’re optimistic about 2009 in general,” Saad comments, “and are focused on getting deals in the pipeline we’re confident we can close.”

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