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Brady Sullivan corners Manchester skyline with its $19.75m purchase of City Hall Plaza

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 16. 2014 7:24PM
Brady Sullivan Properties closed on an all-cash $19.75 million deal Tuesday for the 20-story building at 900 Elm St. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader File)
Brady Sullivan’s Elm Street holdings
• Brady Sullivan Tower: 1750 Elm St. (the former New Hampshire Insurance building)
Stories: 12
Square feet: 212,000

• Brady Sullivan Building: 1230 Elm St.
Stories: 5
Square feet: 120,000

• Brady Sullivan Plaza: 1000 Elm St. (the former Hampshire Plaza)
Stories: 20
Square feet: 326,000

• City Hall Plaza: 900 Elm St. (newly purchased)
Stories: 20
Square feet: 219,000

MANCHESTER — Brady Sullivan Properties will no longer need to debate whether 1000 Elm St. or City Hall Plaza at 900 Elm St. is the state’s tallest building.

“Now, it doesn’t matter,” real estate mogul Arthur Sullivan said Tuesday. “We definitely can say we own the tallest building.”

Brady Sullivan Properties closed on the all-cash $19.75 million deal Tuesday for the 20-story building at 900 Elm St.

The office tower, which counts the McLane Law Firm and Citizens Bank as its largest tenants, gives Brady Sullivan Properties a wider portfolio of downtown office space, according to Thomas Farrelly, executive director at Cushman & Wakefield, which represented the seller, TIER REIT, a Texas-based real estate investment trust.

“It’s a strategic acquisition for Brady Sullivan, who now owns a commanding share of Manchester’s downtown,” Farrelly said.

Sullivan said his company’s holdings of office space along Elm Street, namely those with addresses of 900, 1000, 1230 and 1750, total around 900,000 square feet. Its entire real estate portfolio in the city is in the “3 million square feet-plus range.”

“It just made sense to expand our portfolio a little bit more in Manchester,” Sullivan said. “We like the market and thought it’d be a good opportunity.”

Built in 1990 by Nynex Properties for $22 million, the class A office building went through a series of owners. In 1998, International Properties Corp./IPC Office Properties LLC bought a package of 24 buildings in seven states. Real estate transfer taxes priced out 900 Elm St. at $29.5 million.

“To replace, the cost of the building would be substantially more than when it was built originally,” Sullivan said.

The building went on the market a little more than two months ago, with it drawing plenty of attention from potential buyers.

“The initial interest was well over 50, but the short list was well over 12,” Farrelly said.“There’s certain buildings we always have our eye on, and that certainly was one of them,” Sullivan said.

Plans for the building include converting some space used for dining and gymnastics into rentable office space.

“The building is about 90 percent occupied, with very long-term, great steady tenants in there that we don’t expect any turnover from,” Sullivan said.

The McLane Law Firm is the biggest tenant, occupying 73,000 square feet spread over five floors, Farrelly said. City Hall Plaza contains a total 219,000 square feet on 20 floors, including a service floor.

A name for the building will be forthcoming. Since Brady Sullivan Tower is already taken (the former New Hampshire Insurance building at 1750 Elm), Sullivan said, “maybe, it will be Brady Sullivan City Hall Plaza.”

As for whether 900 or 1000 Elm St. is the state’s tallest building, Sullivan said if the peak of 900 Elm St. is counted in its height calculation, “supposedly that gives it the extra footage to say it’s the tallest.”

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