In the wake of its $193.5 million joint venture purchase of the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa last December, Banyan Street Capital is cementing its relationship with CBRE Inc., the nation's largest commercial real estate brokerage and services firm.
CBRE brokered the sale of the 42-story skyscraper, at 101 E. Kennedy Blvd., the largest sale to occur in the Tampa Bay region since 2012.
Now, Banyan Street has given CBRE the nod to be its exclusive leasing agent for Rivergate Tower, a 31-story high-rise at 400 N. Ashley Drive, also downtown near the city's Riverwalk.
The Miami-based office buyer acquired that nearly 516,000-square-foot building last summer for $70 million, with plans to “elevate the project to a new standard for downtown.”
In that deal, CBRE represented sellers Mount Kellett Capital Management and Morning Calm Management. At the time, CBRE rival Cushman & Wakefield oversaw leasing for Rivergate, a 28-year-old tower constructed at a cost of $150 million.
For CBRE, landing the Rivergate Tower assignment could have a significant upside. That's because the tower has roughly 88,000 square feet of vacant space, one of the largest amounts in the city. Of that, Rivergate also has the further advantage of three floors — containing more than 49,000 square feet — of contiguous space.
CBRE's designation also comes as rental rates for downtown space have been inching upward. Rivergate Tower is expected to fetch gross rents of $24 per square foot to $26 per square foot soon.
“All of the people here have worked hard to cultivate the relationship with them,” CBRE First Vice President Roxanne Kemph, says of Banyan Street.
“And that's been born out by how we've all proved ourselves,” added Kemph, who will be directing Rivergate's leasing with senior associate Kelley Matheson.
CBRE also is expected to be deeply involved in more than $10 million in renovations to Rivergate's common areas, lighting and restrooms and new waterfront dining, along with a plan to further connect the tower to Riverwalk. Banyan Street is working with city officials on a plan for greater connectivity, Kemph says.
Rivergate Tower is occupied by tenants Butler Pappas, Digital Hands, Sykes Enterprises, Wilson Human Capital and Autobytel, among others.
In all, Banyan Street owns roughly 60 office buildings totaling 9 million square feet in Atlanta; Jacksonville; Orlando; Tampa; Coral Gables; Miami; and Fort Lauderdale, according to its website.