Click to view original article from Sarasota-Herald Tribune by Derek Gilliam
BRADENTON — Despite occupancy rates dipping to near 80% in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, downtown Bradenton’s tallest office building has rebounded and is now looking for just one more tenant to achieve full occupancy, according to a news release.
Savlan Capital purchased the Bradenton Financial Center for $14.95 million a little more than two years ago, but only a couple months before the virus that caused COVID was discovered.
The 33-year-old building, with 116,839 square feet of office space, was 90% leased at the time of sale, with major tenants including Mauldin Jenkins, Workforce Business Services, Fisher-Rosemount Systems, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
The 1.18-acre site includes a five-story parking garage connected via skybridge with the main structure.
Savlan Capital said in a news release that attrition and the pandemic caused a dip in occupancy, but added that in the first year it renovated common areas, re-designed the lobby and added digital signing to the exterior.
The company attributes the renovations and the location of the property in the heart of the city’s central business district among the reasons the property rebounded quickly.
Benjamin Bakker of Michael Saunders & Co. secured four leases for the property over the past months, filling nearly 20,000 square feet of office space in the building.
“When COVID-19 hit, the future of office leasing was unclear,” Savlan Capital Chief Executive Officer Zusha Tenenbaum said in a news release, crediting Bakker, management, the renovations “and the building’s position as the premier asset in the CBD” for reaching the leasing milestone despite the pandemic.
Qure4U leased about 7,200 square feet at the center on the ninth floor. The company provides health care companies information technology support. The company signed a five-year lease, according to the news release.
Fidelity National Title Company, part of one of the largest title companies and insurance underwriters in the nation, leased about 2,100 square feet on the third floor for three years.
Marketing company Oxlos leased the largest space at 7,600 square feet on the first floor of the property.
The last new tenant was Horsepower Financial Services, which specializes in leasing Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It leased nearly 3,000 square-feet on the 9th floor of the building.
Savlan Capital, based in Hollywood, has been acquiring, managing and developing real estate properties for the past 20 years, according to the news release.