Banco Sabadell selects Cushman & Wakefield vets as leasing team
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
At the year's start, it's been brokers — not tenants — making moves.
After a competitive search, Sabadell Financial Center has hired Cushman & Wakefield's veteran office brokers Diana Parker and Maggie Kurtz as its leasing team, replacing Flagler Real Estate Services.
Across the Miami River, Miami Tower's new ownership brought aboard Transwestern as exclusive leasing agent, taking Fairchild Partners off the job.
The 525,000-square-foot office tower at 1111 Brickell Ave., which has remained at close to full occupancy for several years, is to have about 65,000 square feet vacated by July, said Ms. Kurtz, co-director of office brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield.
"We come in with fresh eyes. There has not been space available, and now we'll have space commencing in April," she said. "This new strategy and look at the building made a difference to" the owners.
Flagler's Jack Lowell, vice president, and Adriana Jimenez, leasing director, represented the tower for years.
The Brickell office building, currently 98% full, is to have spaces ranging from 1,000 to 36,000 square feet available starting in the second quarter.
The vacancy includes 2,200 square feet of retail on its ground floor, already home to coffeehouse Starbucks.
Asking rates at the building range from $37 to $39 per square foot, full service, Ms. Kurtz and Ms. Parker said.
The ownership, Madrid-based Testa Inmuebles en Renta, S.A., assigned the veteran duo to represent the tower over the next decade because it identified key industries it could draw to the building that "will not only complement but enhance the roster," added Ms. Parker, co-director of office brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield.
The company carefully analyzed the team's selection to be the face of the tower, said Alfonso Badías Albert, Testa's director, in a statement.
"It was imperative to select a team that brings in-depth market knowledge and a sterling reputation in order to qualify to be our on-site representatives," he said.
Among Sabadell Financial Center's anchors is Sabadell United Bank, which occupies almost 50,000 square feet in the building, formerly known as Mellon Financial Center.
Last year, the building became Sabadell Financial Center after Banco de Sabadell, one of Spain's largest banks, acquired Mellon United National Bank.
After touring the market for a new office, law firm Hunton & Williams decided to stay, signing an 11-year renewal to occupy 62,507 square feet.
Other key tenants are telecommunications leader Telefonica USA, Regus Business Center and Guggenheim Investment Advisors.
"We are committed because we believe in this type of a product," Ms. Parker said, "and it's our success that's aligned with it."
The 30-story tower, completed in 2000, was a trendsetter for Brickell, as it was the first mixed-use building delivered in Miami's urban core. The office tower is connected to the JW Marriott Hotel.
Similar properties followed soon after, such as Four Seasons, Espiritu Santo Plaza and most recently Wells Fargo Center, Ms. Parker said, incorporating an office tower with a hotel component.
The duo, with 20-plus years of experience, also represent office leasing at BAC Colonnade, an 11-story building with a Westin Hotel on-site, and Columbus Center, an office and retail complex, both in Coral Gables.
The color-changing, 600,000-square-foot Miami Tower in downtown Miami is also starting the year with a new ownership and leasing team.
The entity I&G Miami, a private real estate investment trust, bought the building at 100 SE Second St. for $105.5 million in December and this week, hired commercial realty firm Transwestern as exclusive leasing agent.
This was a post held by Tony Puente, senior vice president of Fairchild Partners, who had represented the building since 2008.
Miami Tower is about 80% occupied with a strong tenant roster that includes law firms Carlton Fields and Boies Schiller & Flexner and UBS Financial Services.
The biggest void in its 20% vacancy rate was caused by lead tenant Bank of America, which vacated its 50,000 square feet in December 2009 to consolidate at 701 Brickell Ave.
"This is a preeminent tower that will continue to attract gold standard corporate and law firm tenant clients," said Rashid Siahpoosh, Transwestern's senior vice president, in a statement, citing ease of access, signage opportunities and on-site amenities as attractive features. "With strong new institutional ownership and the property's prominence, this tower will return to its rightful eminence."
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