Unico completes $710 million portfolio deal

The Circa Building on Platte Street in Denver

Unico Investment Group LLC reaped the rewards of its investments in 27 office buildings in Denver and Seattle with a 1.8 million-square-foot, $701 million sale.

The Denver buildings ranged from historic gems like the Root and Zang buildings on Platte Street to the newly constructed Circa Building, along with 11 buildings on East Pearl Street in Boulder, Second & Josephine in Cherry Creek and more.

Goldman Sachs affiliate Broad Street Principal Investments bought the assets. Unico retained a stake in the portfolio, and will continue to operate and manage it on behalf of Broad Street.

The deal represented the successful conclusion of Unico’s first institutional discretionary fund, which closed in 2014 after raising $265 million in equity from U.S. and Canadian institutional investors.

“Since 2014, Unico has repositioned these properties through targeted capital investment and major leasing. Several properties in the portfolio underwent significant transformation, including several historic properties and the delivery of an award-winning new construction,” said Unico President Jonas Sylvester. “We’ve not only enhanced our properties and achieved strong returns for our investors, but also improved our cities’ built environment and enhanced the quality of life for our tenants and communities.”

Owning a large portfolio of assets in the tech-heavy markets was an inviting prospect for a select group of investors.

Jason Flynn and Paul Nelson of Eastdil Secured represented Unico in the sale, in conjunction with an in-house team led by Unico Senior Vice President of Asset Management Scott Brucker.

“Understanding our receptivity for the right situation, Eastdil Secured contacted a small subset of groups with the capability for a deal of this magnitude and complexity – large firms with global platforms,” Sylvester said in an email. “We received excellent interest.”

The portfolio was 85 percent leased to more than 190 tenants at the time of sale. Unico invested in excess of $87 million in capital improvements across the portfolio, excluding development.

“We look forward to working with Goldman Sachs to fully complete the property repositions and new development opportunities still embedded within the portfolio,” said Sylvester. There continue to be “many opportunities” in various submarkets in Denver, he said.

Read more about this transaction in CREJ’s Feb. 6-19, 2019, issue

Edited by the Colorado Real Estate Journal staff.