Responding to the increasing investor demand in Metro Phoenix, ViaWest has sold its largest asset, Warner Business Center.  ViaWest had purchased the loan on the seven-building property for $31M in April 2013 and foreclosed on it in May 2013.  As ViaWest began implementing its lease-up strategy, commencing vacant suite improvements, and renewing some leases in the third quarter 2013, it was approached by the buyer to explore a potential sale.  The sale was consummated on December 24, 2013, for $40M to Warner Business Center I, LLC and Warner Business Center 4, LLC, both managed by Voit Real Estate Services.
Both parties represented themselves in the transaction. Bill Bayless of CBRE had served as ViaWest’s leasing agent and was instrumental in the success of the project.  Tom Richards of Voit Real Estate Services worked on behalf of the buyer in managing a smooth transaction.
The property is presently 67% occupied with twenty-one tenants.  The buyer will be able to significantly increase the rental income through additional leasing.  The 321,327 SF asset is ideally located on Warner Rd. just east of I-10 freeway and caters to office, industrial, and showroom users.  With a range of suite styles, the property is excellent for tenants needing a variety of functions, including office, warehouse, truck doors, open ceiling, major street frontage, high parking ratios, heavy power, and more.
“While it was our initial desire to hold this asset for a longer period, the sale was the right thing to do for the strategic benefit of our company and investors.  The proceeds of the sale will free up significant capital for us to continue building our value-add portfolio.  We believe the buyer purchased a wonderful long-term asset and therefore this was a win-win situation for all parties,” noted Gary Linhart, Co-Founder and Principal of ViaWest Group.
“While this sale reduces our portfolio to just below 1.5 MSF, we are quickly filling the gap with two strategic purchases.  As well, the buyer has recognized our strong capability in property management and therefore has hired us to continue that effort.  They were wonderful to work with, and we could not be happier for them,” added Steven Schwarz, also a Co-Founder and Principal of ViaWest.
Voit Real Estate Services will serve as the leasing brokers on the property.