Greystar just paid $19.5 million for an office building in downtown Fort Lauderdale, with plans to develop a high-rise multifamily tower, The Real Deal has learned.

The 1.92-acre property, at 790 East Broward Boulevard, encompasses three separate parcels, including a nearly 26,000-square-foot building, parking lot and five-lane drive-through teller. The building’s main tenant is Chase Bank.

Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp. was the seller. Cushman & Wakefield Vice Chairman Robert Given and Zachary Sackley represented a partnership affiliated with Stiles in the sale. Greystar GP II, LLC, a partnership affiliated with Charleston, South Carolina-based Greystar, purchased the property in an office-market deal that closed on Wednesday, Given said. The sale has not yet cleared records.

“Greystar had been interested in other nearby projects,” Given said. “We were hired to sell this site, and given the interest level in Las Olas Boulevard from Greystar in the past on other projects we were working on, we were able to negotiate a direct deal between the two parties before going to market.”

Todd Wigfield, Greystar Development and Construction Services’ senior managing director, told TRD the company paid $19.5 million for the site, which equates to $235 per square foot for the land. Records show Stiles had bought the property for $44,900 in 1969.

The city of Fort Lauderdale recently approved the site for a 25-story residential development with 329 apartments and 6,871 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Wigfield said construction will begin as soon as Greystar can relocate Chase to a new, temporary location, with that buildout expected by August. “Chase will move back into our new building once it is complete,” he said.

The development site is close to Las Olas Boulevard, downtown Fort Lauderdale’s main shopping and dining street. Major property owners have recently hired Comras Company to re-tenant and revitalize a four-block stretch of the street, and the city recently approved a $49 million improvement plan for the boulevard.

Nearby, the 30-story luxury apartment building Amaray Las Olas was recently completed and is on the market. Also close to the site, the Related Group is building Icon Las Olas and the Kolter Group is planning 100 Las Olas, a 45-story mixed-use condo tower.

“We have this renaissance of Las Olas Boulevard occurring,  and this is a furtherance to that renaissance with another major scale development in walking distance,” Given said.

Greystar currently operates four luxury apartment communities in Fort Lauderdale, including Blue on Marina Boulevard, The Queue, Solmar on Sixth and Elan 16Forty. The company is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, managing over 400,000 units in over 150 markets globally, according to its website.

From The Real Deal Miami via