Downtown Baltimore’s swervy, orange-striped, First National Bank building sold for $38.3 million last week, according to one of the brokers on the deal.
Pittsburgh-based PWA Real Estate, a private firm that invests money for wealthy clients, was one of roughly 10 groups to bid on the property, said Jonathan Carpenter, Baltimore-based managing director of capital markets for DTZ, which represented the seller, AGL Investments, controlled by Dublin-based CMC Investments.
Carpenter said AGL decided to sell after boosting occupancy, which tumbled during the recession but is now above 90 percent. FNB Corp. in 2013 announced plans to move into the building, opening a new office there.
The sale’s timing also takes advantage of low interest rates, and renewed interest among investors in smaller cities such as Baltimore, as prices elsewhere skyrocket. AGL purchased the building in 2004 for $40 million.
There were 33 significant sales of office buildings in the Baltimore region in 2014, representing about $583 million, compared to 25 sales totaling $392 million in 2013, according to an analysis by commercial real estate research firm Delta Associates. The firm's analysis does not include sales of office buildings that are planned for conversion into another use, such as residential.