Acquisition and Investment

100,000 - SF Office Campus Trades Hands

By Brian K. Miller

GOLDEN, CO - Golden Ridge I and II, a pair of single-story office buildings here totaling 100,800 sf, have changed hands for $11.35 million. The new owner is Crown West Realty of Spokane, WA.

Located at 500-560 Golden Ridge Rd., the buildings were constructed in 2000 and 2001; their combined occupancy is 84%. Noteworthy tenants include Rockwell Automation, Health Grades Inc., and TechLaw Inc. The vacancy rate and in-place rental rate (approximately $11.50 per sf/NNN) are comparable to the average for the submarket as a whole.

Crown West Realty president Rob Gragg tells that the buildings are the company's second acquisition in the Denver area and that he expects to close several additional deals in 2007. The previous acquisition was Corporate 25, a fully leased three-building, three- and four-story office campus within Denver Tech Center.

"We're investing there because it's a recovering market," says Gragg, on his cell phone in the Denver airport. "We are negotiating several other [Colorado] deals; we have one under contract and are in best-and-final on others."

During escrow for the Golden Ridge Road property, Crown West was able to expand one tenant and renew another, eliminating any potential for lease expirations in 2006 and 2007. When the expansion deal takes effect in a few months, the cap rate on the Golden Ridge Road transaction will be in the vicinity of 8%, Gragg says.

Formed in 1996, Crown West Realty is the privately-owned real estate investment, development and management subsidiary of Petrus Partners Ltd., a New York investment firm. It owns and manages approximately seven million sf of leased office and industrial properties along with 600 acres of undeveloped industrial land.

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Leasing and Development

Columbia Paint Plans Expansion

Business in Brief
Spokesman Review

Columbia Paint & Coatings is leasing 26,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park.

The nearly 60-year-old Spokane company, which manufactures and sells paint and industrial coatings, is growing at a rate that requires the expansion, said Lori Nelson, director of marketing.

Columbia Paint's headquarters are located on the north side of Interstate 90, at 112 N. Haven St. The company employs 320 and has 40 retail locations throughout the West.

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Leasing and Development

CB Richard Ellis-Press Release

Greensboro, North Carolina – CB Richard Ellis is pleased to announce its selection by Crown West Realty, LLC, to lease and manage the CentrePort Office Portfolio in Greensboro, NC. The portfolio is located at CentrePort Drive and McCloud Road, at the intersection of I-40 and Highway 68, and consists of four Class A office buildings totaling 266,368 square feet.

CBRE agents Greg Wilson, Senior Vice President, and Dodson Schenck, Director of CBRE's Triad Region, will lead the company's leasing efforts; while Ed Gargiulo will spearhead asset management from the new owner's New York office.

“We are proud and excited to have been awarded the leasing and management account for the CentrePort Portfolio,” said Schenck. “These are exceptionally well located and premier, Class A assets. Our team looks forward to working with the new owners, Crown West Realty, as well as the different office users and brokers throughout the Triad.”

The CentrePort Office Portfolio includes:

  • CentrePort I, a 47,208-square-foot, Class A office building, located at 200 CentrePort Dr. that was built in 1986.
  • CentrePort II, a 62,720-square-foot, Class A office building, located at 202 CentrePort Dr. that was built in 1990.
  • CentrePort III, an 81,681-square-foot, Class A office building located at 101 CentrePort Dr. that was built in 1998.
  • One Triad Center, a 71,759-square-foot, Class A office building located at 7736 McCloud Rd. that was built in 1986.

The CentrePort Office Portfolio’s strategic location in Greensboro’s Airport submarket, and close proximity to desired amenities, make it an attractive location for Triad office tenants. The portfolio has enjoyed historic occupancy rates greater than 90 percent and is currently 72 percent leased. Major tenants in the portfolio include Ernst and Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, MCI and M/A/R/C.

CBRE’s Triad Region is headquartered in CentrePort III. CBRE has a management and leasing portfolio of over 2,000,000 square feet in the Triad Region.

Crown West Realty, L.L.C. is a privately owned real estate investment, development and management company with offices in New York, Phoenix, Denver and Spokane, Washington. Crown West was formed in 1996 and is the operating subsidiary of New York investment firm, Petrus Partners Ltd. Crown West owns and manages over seven million square feet of leased office, flex and industrial properties along with 600 acres of zoned industrial and commercial land. For more information, please visit Crown West’s Web site,

About CB Richard Ellis – Triad Region CB Richard Ellis/Triad is a CB Richard Ellis partner office serving the Triad Region. The firm assists real estate owners, investors and occupiers by offering strategic advice and execution for property leasing and sales; property, facilities and project management; corporate services; debt and equity financing; investment management; valuation and appraisal; research and investment strategy; and consulting. For more information about the Raleigh office, visit our Web site,

About CB Richard Ellis – Mid-South Region CB Richard Ellis is the only global real estate services firm with offices in Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond, VA, and Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, NC. These six offices are collectively referred to as the Mid-South region and are all CB Richard Ellis partner offices. The CB Richard Ellis Mid-South offices closed more than $2.5 Billion in sales and leasing transactions in 2005 and have an asset services portfolio of more than 30 million square feet.

About CB Richard Ellis - CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a FORTUNE 1000 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world's largest commercial real estate services firm (in terms of 2005 revenue). The Company serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 350 offices (including affiliate and partner offices) worldwide. CB Richard Ellis offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; investment management; appraisal and valuation; and research and consulting. Founded in 1906, CB Richard Ellis marks a century of excellence in real estate services this year. Please visit our Web site at

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Acquisition and Investment

Crown West Realty Acquires Office Portfolio


GREENSBORO, N.C. - Spokane, Wash. - based Crown West Realty has acquired a four-building, Class A office complex, located at 200 CentrePort Dr. in Greensboro. The 263,000-square-foot portfolio, which was purchased from Liberty Property for $26.7 million, consists of CentrePort I, II, and III and One Triad Center. The CentrePort complex has a 72 percent occupancy rate and includes tenants such as MCI Worldcom, Time Warner Entertainment, Ernst & Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

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Leasing and Development

Michael Gordon Ltd. moves to Spokane Industrial Park

Garden decor wholesaler leaves retail space behind, takes industrial location

By Rocky Wilson
Spokane Journal of Business

Michael Gordon Ltd., a Spokane Valley distributor of garden decor such as statues and fountains, has moved its head quarters to the Spokane Business & Industrial Park from its previous location in Argonne Village.

The company decided to move to an industrial setting because it does only a small amount of retail sales and didn't need a storefront location any longer, says Natalie Smith, director of sales.

The 12-year-old company, which currently employs nine people, moved this month from about 7,000 square feet of leased space at 9211 E. Montgomery into about 7,500 square feet of space it's now leasing in Building 8 of the industrial park, at 3808 N. Sullivan, Smith says.

"The primary reason for the move was to better position the business for wholesale and Internet shipping," says Smith. "Wholesale is our primary business, and this site is more conducive to wholesale shipping."

About half of the products sold by Michael Gordon, including all of its statues, are manufactured at a plant the company owns in southern China, Smith says. Michael Gordon contracts primarily with other manufacturers in China, plus some in the U.S. to make the remainder of its product line.

"All we do in Spokane is warehouse and ship out our products," she says. "We do no manufacturing here. We market primarily to retailers such as garden centers and gift stores, and the majority of our business is done in the U.S."

The company found a niche in the garden decor market several years ago when it began casting statues and other pieces with a resin and marble-dust substance called Polystone, says Smith. She says products made of Polystone are lighter and less expensive than pieces made from concrete or bronze, and are weather resistant. The wholesale prices of Polystone pieces sold by Michael Gordon, which vary greatly in size and shape, normally are between $10 and $150, she says.

Currently, Smith says, about 50 percent of the company's revenues are generated by the sale of Polystone pieces, and the remaining 50 percent come from metal products, including the company's stainless-steel gazing globes which normally range in size from two inches in diameter to 22 inches in diameter, with special orders taken for seven-foot-diameter globes. Wholesale prices on those pieces can range from $3 for a two-inch globe to $4,600 for the largest, special-order globe, says Smith.

She says that the company, which employed as many as 23 people in in 2001, is still rebounding from the economic slowdown that hit following the terrorist attacks that fall.

Although it hasn't yet reached revenue figures achieved before those events, Smith says, "Business was much better last year, and we hope to see it continuing to grow. We've seen improvement in the economy and the gardening industry that's affecting our business positively."

While operating on Montgomery, Michael Gordon featured a retail storefront called Home Garden Gift, with the company's warehouse and office space located behind that shop.

Smith says Michael Gordon will no longer operate a retail store, but will conduct periodic "dock sales" at the new location in the industrial park for overstocked, discontinued, and returned products.

Most of Michael Gordon's sales are generated through a catalog it distributes and via the Internet, says Smith.

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Acquisition and Investment

Crown West buys property in N. Carolina

Company, its parent also announce $125 million investment fund closing

By Linn Parish
Spokane Journal of Business

Crown West Realty LLC, of Spokane Valley, has bought for $13 million an office building in Cary, N.C., near the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area.

The transaction, the company's third in North Carolina, involves the purchase of the Regency Park building, a four-story, 112,000-square-foot structure that was built in 2000.

"This asset is perfectly suited as a corporate headquarters in a superior location," says Rob Gragg, a vice president at Crown West Realty.

Crown West plans to make some cosmetic improvements to the structure in the near future.

Earlier this year, Crown West bought for $17.3 million the Gateway Centre I and II complex, located in Morrisville, N.C., also in the Raleigh-Durham area. Two years ago, the company bought a property in Charlotte, N.C.

Separately, Crown West and its parent, New York-based Petrus Partners Ltd., announced the closing of a $125 million real estate equity investment fund, Petrus Inventors 2005 LP. The companies say the fund's goal is to acquire about $500 million in office and industrial properties over the next three years.

The investment group says it focuses on acquiring mid-sized office and industrial properties in select U.S. markets, typically in transactions valued at between $10 million and $100 million and requiring investments of $5 million to $25 million.

Formed in 1996, Crown West owns and manages about 7 million square feet of leased office and industrial properties and is headquartered at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, which it owns and manages. In addition to North Carolina and Spokane, Crown West has commercial properties in the Phoenix area and in Denver.

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Acquisition and Investment

Grubb & Ellis/Thomas Linderman Graham Facilitates Office Sale

CARY, NC - Jim McMillan, Martie Serianni and John Linderman of Grubb & Ellis/Thomas have represented the seller, American Tower, in the sale of a Class A office building, located at 400 Regency Forest Dr in Cary. Crown West Realty purchased the 112,000-square-foot property for an undisclosed price. Grubb & Ellis/Thomas Linderman Graham will serve as the exclusive leasing and management firm for the property.

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Acquisition and Investment

Crown West Buys Spectrasite Building


CARY, NC - Crown West Realty paid $13 million for the 112,000-square-foot office building that was once the headquarters for Specrasite Communications before that company was acquired last year.

The building, at 400 Regency Forest Drive, is Crown West's second Triangle acquisition.

The Spokane, Wash., group this year also bought Gateway Center I and II -- an office and flex building totaling 145,000 square feet in Morrisville -- from Duke Realty for $17.3 million.

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Acquisition and Investment

Petrus Partners and Crown West Realty Announce $125 Million Equity Fund

By Brian K. Miller

SPOKANE, WA - Petrus Partners Ltd. of New York City and its locally based asset management subsidiary Crown West Realty LLC have completed fund raising for their second value-add discretionary fund since 2003. The fund closed with $125 million of equity that the Petrus-Crown West Group plans to parlay into at least $500 million of office and industrial properties over the next three years.

The fund will focus on acquiring mid-sized properties, one typically in need of redevelopment, repositioning or restructuring. It is looking for deals in the $10-million to $100-million range that require individual equity investments of $5 to $25 million.

As for geographic dispersion, the group seeks to assemble portfolios of properties within six to eight metropolitan markets, the strategy being economies of scale in both the acquisition and management of properties. The markets are Phoenix, Denver, Northern New Jersey, Raleigh-Durham, Atlanta, Houston and Dallas.

Petrus president Frank Walter tells the fund has closed on its first two acquisitions, the 110,000-sf SpectraSite Communications headquarters building at 400 Regency Forest Dr. in Carey, NC, and a controlling interest in the 300,000-sf, four-building headquarters of Unilever North America at 700 Slyvan Ave. in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Both properties are occupied under short-term leases, Walter says.

The plan for the North Carolina property is to release the space and possibly develop an adjacent 11-acre parcel that was part of the deal. The New Jersey property, which was developed in 1969, could either be released or redeveloped, Walter says.

About two-thirds of the capital for both this fund and its original fund comes from retired Goldman Sachs executives, Walter says. The target IRR range for both funds is 13% to 18%, but expectations are higher now that the first third of the inaugural portfolio has been liquidated.

"Suffice to say we've been outperforming," Walter says. "It's been a good time to invest in real estate; everybody is doing well in this environment."

Petrus Partners is a private real estate investment firm formed in 1992 by its principals, who were formerly with the Real Estate and Investment Banking departments of Goldman, Sachs & Co. Crown West, organized in 1996, serves as asset manager for Petrus' investment partnerships, and its staff of 30 is actively engaged in development, leasing, property management, maintenance, finance and accounting.

The Petrus-Crown West Group owns and controls--directly, through discretionary investment funds and in multi-property joint ventures with St. Paul Travelers Cos., Inc.--a nationwide portfolio of office, flex and industrial properties totaling about six million sf.

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