Githler, NY Partners Buy Northern Trust Plaza

Real Estate


Charles Githler, a prominent Gulf Coast developer who previously owned the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, announced on Tuesday that he and business partners who operate EDM Realty Partners of New York have acquired the Northern Trust Plaza in Downtown Sarasota. The purchase price was $17 million, plus significant reserves for further renovation and future tenant build out. “From the day it was built, I have considered the Northern Trust Plaza to be the number one office building south of Tampa Bay,” Githler says. “Its 288-space parking garage enables its prestigious clients and tenants to conveniently do business and attend philanthropic functions, even during the summer’s rainy season. We are forecasting that Class A high-rise offices outperform other real estate sectors due the significant new supply additions in this market.”

Northern Trust occupies a third of the space in the 11-story Ringing Boulevard office building. Other tenants include Ferguson Skipper Shaw Keyer Baron & Tirabassi, Old Republic, Adams and Reese, CS&A Accountants and Comcast. The building’s lobby and common areas were just renovated in 2016. Andy Dorr, senior vice president at Gather Development, says the purchase makes sense because of an historic surge in residential, retail and hotel development in Downtown Sarasota. “We are now adding 1,800 new rental apartments and for-sale luxury condominiums, five hotels housing 818 additional rooms and three more hotels in predevelopment—together with at least 50,000 square feet of new retail,” Dorr notes. “These exciting projects are all within a few blocks of the Northern Trust office tower. These are key demand generators which are bound to fill up more office space. Meanwhile, it is highly unlikely we will see new supply with development of a large Class A office tower in Downtown Sarasota—at least until rents rise by another 40-50 percent.”

Grant Savage and Alfie Hamilton of Colliers International brokered the sale and represented both Gather Real Estate and the seller, a partnership made up of Peter Gardner and William Driscoll that purchased the plaza from Northern Trust in 2005. Savills Studley arranged a $12.765-million long-term loan for the acquisition. “Northern Trust Plaza perfectly illustrates the strength of the Sarasota office market, as it commands top rents and generates lots of interest from investors,” says Savills Studley Managing Director Stephanie Lynch. “We believe that the new joint venture has the vision and track record to further enhance this unique downtown asset for years to come.”

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