las olas square.
Las Olas Square
501 & 515 East Las Olas Blvd.
Downtown Ft. Lauderdale
This 2-building project contained 267,955 rentable square feet consisting of a 17-story, Class A tower built in 1992 and a 3-story Class C building completed in 1972, with a combined occupancy of 80%. The offering also included several development parcels, some owned in fee and some ground leased. The properties were purchased from SunTrust Bank, who had owned and operated the assets for approximately 20 years.
Through a limited offering process, the asset was purchased for $90 million, which is not only substantially below replacement cost, but offered a very advantageous basis relative to other nearby sales, along with rents that were considerably below market. The location is considered to be the heart of the downtown market, but neither building had received any notable updates, so the capital requirements would be substantial.
SQUARE2 principals devised a business plan that entailed an expansive redevelopment of both buildings. The 45,000 square foot, 501 Building received the bulk of the redevelopment, which entailed modernizing what had historically had been a very large “bank branch” building by gutting and reskinning it, updating all the mechanicals, roof and finishes. The 515 Building would receive upgrades to the garage, lobby, common areas, restrooms, as well as new conference centers and outdoor, covered community space. A shaded urban park between the buildings was created to allow for restaurant and tenant seating along with improvements to the connectivity of both buildings, not only to each other, but to Las Olas Boulevard via upgraded pedestrian streetscape work. This work also had the added benefit of connecting the dense CBD developments west of US1, to the historical low rise amenity area on the east side making the neighborhood much more walkable. Simultaneous to this repositioning, SQUARE2 principals profitably secured the sale of the development parcels. After 18 months of construction, the 501 Building was pre-leased and transformed to a trophy, Class A core asset and in doing so, attracted multiple new tenants that include Del Frisco's Grille and Spaces, along with numerous renewals by marquis tenants including Holland & Knight, Billings Cochran and Berkowitz Dick & Pollack, bringing the current occupancy to 94% through the leasing and renewal of nearly 190,000 square feet since the acquisition.