Wyomissing office buildings sell for $7.7 million

NAI Keystone’s Bryan Cole – Discusses sale of Office Buildings in Wyomissing with the Reading Eagle.

Two prominent office buildings on Berkshire Boulevard in Wyomissing have been sold for a total of $7.7 million, according to the Berks County recorder of deeds’ office.

The buildings are 1105 Berkshire, known as the Travelers Insurance building, near Applebee’s, and 1150 Berkshire, near Wal-Mart. Blank Aschkenasy Properties LLC, Conshohocken, Delaware County, sold them as a package for about $80 a square foot, according to owner Paul M. Aschkenasy.

The large, three-story tan building at 1105 Berkshire Blvd. is more than 80 percent occupied by Travelers Property Casualty Corp. and about 90-plus percent total occupancy, Aschkenasy said.

The other property, a red brick building farther west at 1150 Berkshire Blvd., houses Fleetwood Loan Center and Black Diamond Financial Group, among other tenants, is more than 50 percent occupied.

The properties were sold to Rockford Capital Partners, Wilmington, Del.

1105 Berkshire blvd

Doug Motley, principal of Rockford Capital, a private real estate investment firm, said the Wyomissing properties are class A and the company would make select capital improvements.

“We like the tenants,” Motley said. “We think Wyomissing, as a market, is attractive and growing and it’s a solid investment for our stakeholders.”

He added that Rockford generally holds real estate for five to 10 years before selling it.

“But it’s market-based, and that doesn’t mean if someone offered us twice what we paid for it tomorrow that we wouldn’t sell it,” Motley said.

As for the seller, Aschkenasy said: “It was time for us to sell them. We have discrete times for our investments. We usually hold them seven to 10 years.

“We had these two buildings for nine years. That’s about right. We are in the business of buying and improving them and selling them. We love the  buildings, but it was time to sell.”

The buildings were constructed about 1987. Travelers has been a tenant since the late 1980s.

“We bought them as a package and sold them as a package,” Aschkenasy said.

Bryan E. Cole, an associate with NAI Keystone, Exeter Township, said his realty company had nothing to do with the sale, but he offered his perspective as a professional involved in Wyomissing commercial real estate.

Cole said he assumes, based on the price, that Travelers doesn’t have a long-term lease and that fact would be discounted in the sale price.

Motley said he didn’t know the length of the Travelers’ lease.

Cole said: “I’m guessing Travelers only has four years on its lease, and they are the majority tenant.

“What you end up doing is basing the deal strictly on cash flow  Eighty dollars sounds like a good deal for the purchaser on a per-square foot basis, but when you look at a guarantee of cash flow, it’s a so-so deal.”

Marti Hozey, borough manager and secretary at Wyomissing, said: “Wyomissing borough is always pleased to see that office buildings continue to be sold in the borough.

“We feel this is a premier area to have an office building in Berks County.”

Rockford bought it for its Rockford Real Estate Fund I, the final investment for its value-added fund, the company said.

Richard L. Meares, president of Fleetwood Bank, said the bank has had a private banking and loan center with three or four employees at the 1150 Berkshire location for about a year. Fleetwood plans to stay there and expand.

Gary Griffin, a spokesman for Travelers, said about 250 people work at the Berkshire Boulevard location and Travelers has a longstanding history in the area.

Article by Reading Eagle Company

Bryan Cole, NAI Keystone Commercial & Industrial, LLC Office & Medical Real Estate Specialist www.Bryan-Cole.com  or www.WyomissingOfficeSpace.com

Bcole@naikeystone.com | 610.370.8502