Westshore Office Portfolio

Tampa, FL
Acquired $66,000,000 – 4-year hold – Sold $89,250,000


Property & Opportunity

Commercial Florida Realty Partners acquired the Westshore Office Portfolio (Westshore) in 2015. The portfolio included 4 office buildings totaling in 460,460 RSF, parking structures and 5.5 acres of developable raw land. Properties are mid to late 1980’s vintage and offer a variety of tenant amenities. Building details are as follows,

  • Westshore Corporate Center – Class A, 173,546 SF, 12 stories
  • Cypress Center I – Class B, 153,634 SF, 3 stories
  • Cypress Center II – Class B, 49,935 SF, 2 stories
  • Cypress Center III – Class B, 83,345 SF, 3 stories
  • Cypress Center IV – Proposed-Class A, 200,000 SF, 6 stories

At the time of purchase, the portfolio was 94% occupied with a diverse tenant mix. However, there was a significant amount of upcoming tenant rollover. At Cypress Center, Pitney Bowes was negotiating to downsize and renew, and State Farm Insurance advised they would be systematically reducing their occupancy and vacating due to corporate consolidation of their claims’ operations. In-place rents were below market and each building required substantial capital investments to justify rental increases and remain competitive in the market. The portfolio had value add opportunities with core+ stability.

Westshore’s existing competitive advantage was a diverse building set which was situated well in the market. Its location yielded high visibility and highway access to key roadways. Commercial Florida utilized its experience in undertaking capital improvements and hands on leasing and management strategies during the hold period to ensure a successful disposition by year 4.

The Strategy

The strategy for Westshore was to increase rents, lease up the current vacancy and available space due to downsizing and known move outs, and re-establish +90% occupancy while also undertaking a design and development plan for the extra acreage, including application for site plan approval. Strong population and employment growth in the submarket drove demand for quality office space. However, increasing rents at Westshore involved an investment of over $6M in capital and hands on involvement with the existing tenants to increase renewals and further grow the tenant base. Key capital investments and projects included:

  • Interior Improvements – HVAC, elevator modernization, designing and constructing a fitness center, and renovating the atriums/lobbies and common areas.
  • Exterior Improvements – Signage, LED lighting in parking structure and throughout the properties, landscaping, and miscellaneous cosmetic updates such as paint, window sealing and concrete repairs.
  • Value Enhancement Through Hands-On Leasing and Management – Commercial Florida assisted a tenant at Cypress Center I who was leasing more space than needed and wanted to downsize and extend their lease. Doing so allowed the tenant to operate with lower overhead costs and enabled Commercial Florida to back lease the entire large block of unneeded space at a higher rental rate and relatively minimal transaction costs, creating a substantial increase in value of the complex and the Portfolio.
  • During the hold period, Commercial Florida landed well-known tenants including American Express, ADP, Redfin, Federated Insurance and Carrier, and expanded Progressive Insurance’s presence and commitment.
  • Cypress Center IV Development Concept – Design and site plan for a new Class A building to be added to the mix, 200,000 RSF with a new parking structure.

In congruence with the plan established at acquisition, entering 2019, Commercial Florida successfully maintained +90% occupancy, increasing rents and procuring new tenants. Renovations and Capital Improvements to Westshore Corporate Center and Cypress Centers I, III & III were complete. Cypress Center IV’s concept and site plan was developed with the intention of being passed to the prospective buyer.

Westshore was marketed and sold by the end of 2019, maximizing returns to partners.

Commercial Florida’s experience in operating office buildings coupled with their hands on management and leasing practices were key to the successful acquisition and implementation of the business enabling a successful disposition within the projected hold period of The Westshore Office Portfolio.