B rady Sullivan bought an office building not far from Manchester’s airport for $5 million in 2014 and sold it five years later for $31 million.
“Some you do better on than others,” former owner Arthur Sullivan said this month.
But, Sullivan said, “We put a lot of money into it.” Neither he nor partner Shane Brady could recall exactly how much.
Defense contractor BAE Systems, the current tenant, then put its own imprint on 3000 Goffs Falls Road.
“They gutted the whole thing,” Sullivan said.
BAE, which is required to buy the property by the time its 10-year lease ends, was going to invest at least $75 million in the 210,000-square-foot building to suit its unique needs, according to James Key-Wallace, executive director of the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority, the building’s current owner.
“When you’re BAE and you’re in a rush to find something, you have to be prepared to pay a premium to secure it. To them, it was worth it,” said Tom Farrelly, executive director at Cushman & Wakefield of New Hampshire, a commercial real estate firm that has done business with Brady Sullivan.
In 2011, a Massachusetts property trust bought the 34-acre property for $25.34 million.
But the building’s sole tenant, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, announced in 2013 it would not renew its lease the following April.
The trust “didn’t want a vacant building” and sold it to Brady Sullivan for $5 million in 2014, according to Robert Gagne, chairman of the city’s board of assessors.
Brady Sullivan then filed court papers seeking a reduction in the building’s $17.9 million assessment, Gagne said.
The city and developer settled at an assessment of more than $8.8 million, Gagne said.
“Brady Sullivan took the risk,” Farrelly said. “Don’t forget the building sat vacant for almost three years. Brady Sullivan had actually placed a tenant, which they needed to move to make that (BAE) deal happen.”
The New Hampshire Business Finance Authority bought the building for $31 million and will sell it to BAE for the same amount, with the company paying rent in the meantime.
“BAE has already paid off all of the debt associated with that building,” Key-Wallace said. “They paid ahead of time, so all the state-guaranteed financing that BAE used to acquire the facility was paid off.”
An appraisal before the sale closed in early 2019 concluded the property was valued at $33.1 million.
“I think frankly, if they tried to replicate it (from scratch), they would spend more than $31 million,” said Concord developer Steve Duprey, a member of the NHBFA who voted for the sale.
Brady Sullivan “did very well,” Duprey said.
Today, hundreds of BAE employees work inside. The company declined to comment on its move there.
Last month, BAE held a public event celebrating its official opening, which included the governor, mayor and the state’s congressional delegation.