The Coastal Star

Boca Raton: Crocker joint venture buys former IBM campus

By Mary Hladky

Crocker Partners has acquired the iconic former IBM campus in Boca Raton for $170 million.
The 125-acre property, now known as the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, sits just west of Interstate 95 between Yamato Road and Spanish River Boulevard.
Boca Raton-based Crocker purchased BRIC in a joint venture with New York-based Rialto Capital and Siguler Guff. The property includes the 1.8 million-square-foot IBM building that was the birthplace of the personal computer.
In the near term, the new owners plan to add tenants to the property, which is now 73 percent leased, and upgrade the buildings and enhance amenities, said Crocker managing partner Angelo Bianco.
“We want to stabilize this asset and make it the jewel in South Florida for large tenants,” he said. “We look at BRIC as best in class for all of South Florida.”
Bianco envisions eventually redeveloping the site, although he said he has no immediate plans to do so. The possibilities include adding apartments, townhomes, hotel and retail, he said. But there are no plans to tear down the Y-shaped IBM building designed by international architects Marcel Breuer and Robert Gatje, Bianco said.
Current tenants include Bluegreen Vacations Corp., Johnson Controls Security Solutions, TransUnion, Modernizing Medicine and MDVIP.
With the acquisition, Crocker’s Boca Raton portfolio has grown to 2.9 million square feet, or 25 percent of the city’s office inventory. Its holdings include The Plaza, One Town Center, One Boca Place and the mixed-use Boca Center. Crocker developed Mizner Park in downtown Boca Raton.
Crocker is the state’s largest Class A office landlord, with more than 6.3 million square feet, according to the company.
IBM originally developed the site in the 1960s and sold it in 1996.
The sellers in the April transaction are San Francisco-based Farallon Capital Management and New York-based Next Tier HD.

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