The downtown Baltimore office tower known as the Candler Building has sold to a Virginia firm for $62 million.
American Real Estate Partners of Herndon, Va., closed on the 12-story building at the beginning of February, according to CoStar, a commercial real estate firm that tracks deals.
The roughly 589,000-square-foot building at 111 Market Place was 73 percent leased at the time of the sale, according to CoStar. The property, which claimed Exelon its premier tenant until the energy company moved to Harbor Point last year, still houses firms such as Venable LLP and Johns Hopkins University center. The engineering firm RK&K also has rented space in the property.
American Real Estate Partners said Monday it plans to invest about $8 million renovating the property, focusing on common spaces and the ground floor retail. The firm, which also owns 1 South Street in Baltimore, plans to create new storefronts with patio seating.
"We are excited to expand our presence in downtown Baltimore and be a part of the renaissance underway in the Inner Harbor," said Michael Gribbon, a principal and executive managing director, in a statement. "The Candler Building provides us with an excellent opportunity to appeal to the growing segment of the market looking for a highly amenitized office environment in an urban setting."
The Candler Building, a converted Coca-Cola warehouse that fronts Pratt Street, dates to the early 1910s. It served as the first operational headquarters for the U.S. Social Security system, later undergoing a major renovation in 1989. The building sold in 2003 for about $65 million. It is valued at about $50 million for tax purposes, according to land records.
The seller, Equity Commonwealth of Chicago, has been shedding properties to focus on major markets, said broker Jonathan M. Carpenter, an executive managing director at commercial real estate firm DTZ, who worked on the deal.
Carpenter declined to comment on the price, but noted the buyer's planned investment.
"It's a neat building, in a great location with good bones and an opportunity," Carpenter said.