PEBB Enterprises and joint venture partner Banyan Development completed another major office acquisition at the companies’ home base in Boca Raton. The Company paid $37.5 million for a long-term lease interest in Florida Atlantic University® Research Park, which consists of a portfolio of seven multi-tenant office buildings totaling 308,305 square feet.
The sale of the heritable building right was completed on April 28th. The seller was an international sovereign wealth fund represented by Avison Young’s Florida Capital Markets Group.
PEBB and Banyan intend to embark on a major improvement program to modernize the office-based research park and boost rental activity in conjunction with the research park of FAU’s existing economic development team. The portfolio is currently 65% occupied. It is the only research park affiliated with a state university in South Florida and is recognized as the premier technology incubator for the region.
FAU’s research park not only has strong foundations in central Boca Raton, but also has direct access to a talented and motivated workforce and a direct connection to the FAU campus. FAU Research Park allows companies to work with FAU faculty across the University’s ten (10) colleges to collaborate and transform the property into a state-of-the-art research and development park that can strengthen and diversify Boca Raton’s business community.
Common goals are the growth and development of the park into a leading campus-based health and medical center and biotechnology advanced engineering hub, built on a community where entrepreneurs and academic researchers come together to collaborate and develop thriving businesses. The group also sees tremendous opportunities in artificial intelligence, sensors, machine learning and others where the university already has a significant presence.
The long-term leaseholder remains the research park at FAU’s government agency, the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, with a dual research and development and economic development mission coordinated with Florida Atlantic University. PEBB and Banyan have worked closely with FAU’s research park and will continue to work with it to pursue its mission.
“The commitment of the teams at PEBB and Banyan to strengthen the tenant roster with companies focused on R&D and creating new technological and economic energy for Boca Raton and Palm Beach County is very exciting as we continue to strive to be the premier address for innovative R&D companies in Florida,” said Andrew Duffell, President of the Research Park at FAU.
For PEBB, the acquisition continues the trend of investing in office properties in Boca Raton with upside potential. In 2021, the company acquired Building 1801 in Midtown Boca and Building 5900 in Park at Broken Sound.
“This is a unique opportunity to own and operate prime office space adjacent to the FAU campus,” said Ian Weiner, President and CEO of PEBB Enterprises. “The portfolio’s immediate access to I-95 and Boca Raton Airport makes it extremely attractive for tenants. We continue to seek new investment opportunities in Boca Raton, which is underserved from an office equipment standpoint.”
The office buildings at 3600-3998 FAU Blvd. were completed between 1998 and 2001.
The portfolio includes a diverse mix of medical, technology and research companies. Notable tenants include American Sugar Refining, Xeriant, Baptist Health Surgery Center, FAU College of Medicine Clinical Skills Simulation Center, Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Sandow Media, GenesisCare and 4ocean.
“We will target best-in-class tenants that complement the strong existing roster and align with the research park at FAU and the university’s broader mission,” said Jason Sher, Director at Banyan Development.
Avison Young Principal Keith O’Donnell listed the portfolio on behalf of the seller and led the OTC transaction.
“It was clear to me from the start who would be the perfect buyers for the research park at FAU,” said O’Donnell. “PEBB and Banyan will bring a local, deep legacy to this incredible park.”
Avison Young’s Greg Martin, Principal and Managing Director of the company’s Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton offices, and his team have created value by renting FAU’s research park over the past decade. Along with team members Justin Cope and Lisa Blumer, he will continue to oversee the rental of the property.
“We are excited about the new ownership group and the energy they will bring to the property,” said Martin.
Boca Raton’s commercial real estate sector is consistently attracting national interest from companies looking to expand or relocate their operations, according to Jessica Del Vecchio, economic development manager for the city of Boca Raton.
“Having the opportunity to work with PEBB Enterprises and Banyan Development as local owners of this property will allow our team to work efficiently and effectively as new innovative start-ups come to town seeking office space in FAU’s highly desirable research park . ‘ Del Vecchio said.
PEBB and Banyan often work together on developments and investments in Palm Beach County. The companies developed the transformative Mainstreet at Boynton Beach project and jointly own the mixed-use Boca Lake in Boca Raton and a future development campus in Delray Beach.
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