Office market picks up

Office market picks up




The Capital Region has seen a flurry of activity in the office condominium market in recent months.



Suburban condo office development was very active after 2005's Hurricane Katrina. The influx of people moving to Baton Rouge, coupled with the availability of GO Zone tax credits, increased demand for office space.



As often happens, however, the market became overbuilt, and it has taken a while to digest the significant amount of space that has been developed in the past few years.



But several sales have taken place over the past month that would indicate some absorption is occurring.



A 1,966-square-foot medical property in the Heritage Office Plaza, at 8235 YMCA Plaza Dr. (below), sold for $335,000, or about $170 per square foot, in a transaction that closed Nov. 8. The buyer was Ephraim Systems, represented by Robert Muhumuza, and the seller was Bright Futures Pediatrics. Jeffery Welsh of Key Finders Realty brokered the deal for the buyer, and Ty Gose of NAI Latter and Blum brokered the deal for the seller.




A 4,587-square-foot building at 11607 Southfork Ave. sold for $596,310, or about $130 per square foot. The buyer was CJ1 Property, represented by Chad Himmel and Jerry Himmel, and the seller was Whitney Bank, which had reclaimed the site and listed it with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate. Matthew Laborde, Steve Legendre, Joey Canella and Brent Struthers brokered the property for Beau Box. The building, which had been purchased in 2007 for more than $160 per square foot, had been listed at more than $150 per square foot. It is occupied by Gresham and Associates, which will continue to lease the property.



There have been other sales this year that indicate an improvement in market conditions:



• On Jan. 6, a 4,705-square-foot building at 4864 Bluebonnet Blvd. sold for $797,300, or $169.46 per square foot.

• On Jan. 24, a 2,621-square-foot unit at 10626 Timberlake Ave. sold for $473,000, or $180.47 per square foot.

• On Feb. 4, a 3,743-square-foot building at 5647 Bankers Ave. sold for $840,901, or $224.66 per square foot.

• On March 31, a 6,000-square-foot building at 4210 Bluebonnet Blvd. sold for $935,000, or $155.83 per square foot.

• On May 12, a 3,558-square-foot building at 18161 E. Petroleum Dr. sold for $547,932, or $154 per square foot.

• On June 28, a 4,902-square-foot building at 18153 E. Petroleum Dr. sold for $690,000, or $140.76 per square foot.

• On Aug. 2, a 1,910-square-foot building at 10343 Siegen Ln. sold for $300,000, or $157.07 per square foot.

• And on Oct. 17, a 4,750-square-foot unit at 4601 Bluebonnet Blvd. sold for $750,000, or $157.89 per square foot.



Retail center sells

The East Bank Shopping Center at La. Highway 30 and Hwy. 44 in Gonzales sold on Nov. 14 for $1,019,969, or about $173 per square foot.



Chris Dozier and Collier Thornton purchased the center several years ago. The site included a vacant, freestanding restaurant that occupied about one acre with frontage on Hwy. 30. The restaurant was removed in 2009 and replaced by a 5,900-square-foot outparcel composed of an Albasha Greek and Lebanese Restaurant and a Subway.




One space remains in the center. The leases in place were strong enough to support the per-square-foot price, Dozier says.



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