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Hat Co Pays Enough to Convince Long-Term Holder to Sell in Under a Year

Sometimes an investor doesn't need much time to turn a profit on a commercial investment. For Fred Heitman, all it took was 10 months and a hat.

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The San Diego Hat Co has come in with a check of more than $6.6M to buy 2293 Cosmos Ct, a 48k SF flex office building in Carlsbad that will now be used for its corporate HQ. It was a deal Anaheim-based Heitman Holdings' Fred says he never intended to do. “We didn't buy it to sell. We bought it to lease it. We wanted to lease it,” Fred tells us. “But anything's for sale for enough money.” That meant Fred was also in the position to have to redeploy that capital elsewhere or face paying taxes—so he bought another industrial building in SoCal.

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Regardless, Lee & Associates' Marko Dragovic (flanked by John Perrillo and Kyle Carruthers)—who brokered the sale with Lee's Issac Little and Bryan Miller—says the offer was too compelling for Fred to pass up. In January, Heitman purchased the empty Carlsbad facility for $119/SF with six months of term left with the existing tenant. The sale price put it at $140/SF.

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Even with new construction in the market—including the possibility of spec with such developers as Techbilt as CEO Ted Tchang recently told us—demand is still outstripping supply. As such, owners are seeing values of commercial buildings jump 20% to 25% in just the past 18 months.