TA Associates Realty, a Boston-based firm that invests pension plan dollars, has agreed to pay $33 million to acquire Highview at Providence Corporate Center, two Class A office buildings totalling 183,000 sq ft near Collegeville, Montgomery County, which have been mostly occuiped by IMS Healthcare since they were vacated by the former Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2010 after Wyeth was bought by Pfizer.
Seller was Equus Capital Partners Ltd., the former BPG Properties, which built Highview for Wyeth in 2003. Brokers Jim Vesey and Doug Rodio of Jones Lang LaSalle's Philadelphia office represented BPG in finding the buyer for the property, which is part of the master-planned, 121-acre Providence Corporate Center.
UPDATE: How's the price? "Although IMS has a long term lease, they have vacated 50% of the leased space. So lenders were not comfortable financing a well-leased but not occupied-office building," says Vesey, managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle. "Replacement costs today could be anywhere from $175 to $225 per sq. ft."
It's cheaper in the flat far burbs like Collegeville than building a similarly-sized tower in Conshohocken or Radnor, which fetch premium rents, as do the higher towers on Center City's Market St. West. "Other suburban markets are a tougher sell," Vesey concludes.