FORT LAUDERDALE, FL-A planned upgrade of the 19-story Wachovia Tower at One East Broward office building is under way now that its owners have program funding in place. Beverly Hills, CA-based Kennedy Wilson Inc. announced last fall that $4.5 million will be invested in improvements to the 338,000-square-foot class A structure.

A group of 32 private investors took control of Wachovia Plaza in February 2009 after buying the distressed asset for an undisclosed price. The previous owner, Meridian, ID-based DBSI, paid $61 million for the 25-year-old building in 2005, when it was called SouthTrust Tower.

“Wachovia Tower is set to renew its landmark status with this new phase of improvements following a strategic reorganization of ownership and financing,” says Rob Cord, senior managing director of Kennedy Wilson Properties Ltd. “The building has a commanding presence on the skyline and offers its tenant community a signature office address.”

Renovations at Wachovia Tower will include the addition of a two-story curved glass curtain wall enclosing the tower’s atrium entry on East Broward Boulevard, a landscaped outdoor plaza, natural stone finishes for the plaza surfaces and upgraded lobby entries to be completed by this fall. The changes will allow Downtown Fort Lauderdale tenants to view the building “with a set of fresh eyes,” says Donna Korn, leasing director with Taylor & Mathis.

Wachovia Tower, currently 75% occupied, is marketing the top two floors to prospective tenants with space options available from 1,000 to 80,000 square feet. Full-service asking rents at the building are between $28 and $30 per square foot.

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