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Global warming, coastline concerns push Boca investor to spend $17M in Celebration

The Celebration Office Center, which sold this week for $17.2 million, was part of a major disposition of office buildings by former owner, Gramercy Trust.
The Celebration Office Center, which sold this week for $17.2 million, was part of a major disposition of office buildings by former owner, Gramercy Trust. (Osceola County Property Appraiser)

South Florida developer and real estate investor Jeffrey Weiss is the new owner of a 106,200-square-foot office building in Celebration that is home to Disney Vacation Club offices.

Weiss' affiliate company Celebration Advance paid $17.2 million for the 9-acre parcel on Celebration Boulevard just east of the Interstate 4-World Drive interchange. The three-story building was built in 2009 to Gold LEED standards, and is fully leased.

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Based in Boca Raton, Weiss is the owner of Ashley Real Estate in Miami and JW Advance. Late last year, he sold the 9-story Advance Tower in South Miami for $40 million.

He told GrowthSpotter the Celebration Office Center III was one of three properties he bought to fulfill a 1031 exchange. The others were in Port St. Lucie and near Raleigh, North Carolina.

"I just closed on the last one five minutes ago," he said Thursday afternoon. "I'm hoping Celebration will be high-growth. It looks good to me. I really like Orlando, I think people are going to move to Orlando as global warming becomes more of an issue and the coastline becomes more problematic."

Weiss said he still owns assets in coastal areas but is looking to invest only in inland markets. "Orlando is exceptionally well-placed," he said. "I'm trying to get in 10 years ahead of the curve."

The Celebration transaction was part of a previously announced disposition by owner Gramercy Property Trust. The REIT also sold the Comcast Office Campus in California this week for $59 million.

Since the plan was announced, the company has disposed of approximately $722.5 million of single and multi-tenant office assets at a weighted average 6.1 percent exit cap rate.

CBRE's Ron Rogg and Chip Wooten represented the seller.

Weiss received $12 million in financing from BankUnited.   

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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