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Investment firm buys Pan-Am building in New Orleans

Investment firm buys Pan-Am building in New Orleans

A California-based investment firm has bought a downtown high-rise, making it the first sale of a major office building in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.
Equastone, which bills itself as specializing in buying, fixing up and leasing or selling commercial properties in "growth and recovery markets" around the United States, paid about $50 million (euro38 million) for the 28-story Pan-American Life building, CEO Chad Carpenter said Wednesday. It is looking at another building here as well, he said.
Carpenter said his group got reassurances from state and local leaders that they are committed to rebuilding the city.
"We believe the city will be much better than it was," he said.
The building, which Carpenter said was closed on last week, is about 75 percent leased. Pan-American Life just signed a 10-year lease, he said, and Carpenter is confident Equastone will have the building nearly entirely filled within the next two years. The vacancy rate for certain office space downtown is "healthy," he said.
Jose Suquet, Pan-American Life's president and CEO, said in a statement that the decision to sell was a financial one and one that fits with its plan to focus solely on its core business.
He said the company is proud the building will continue to bear the Pan-American name and that the company will remain the building's largest tenant.
The deal is Equastone's first in New Orleans. It comes at a time when the city, still feeling the effects of the 2005 storm, is eager for new investment amid residual uncertainty. A recovery plan for New Orleans, for example, is not expected for a few weeks yet.
The building, minimally damaged by Katrina, includes an eight-story parking garage, cafe and conference center and is connected to a hotel, Equastone said.
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On the Net:
http://www.equastone.com/
http://www.panamericanlife.com/default.aspx


Updated : 2021-05-10 04:06 GMT+08:00