The building that houses Davidoff of Geneva’s U.S. corporate headquarters in Pinellas Park sold for $15.6 million, as part of a broader deal described as one of the largest real estate transactions in the United States this year.
The 128,490-square-foot property at 3001 Gateway Centre Parkway was part of a portfolio of 47 industrial properties sold by Growth Capital Partners, or GCP, to Exeter Property Group for $800 million.
ES 3001 Gateway Center, an entity affiliated with Exeter Property Group, bought the Pinellas Park property on Oct. 29, according to a deed filed on Nov. 16 in Pinellas County. It’s the only local property in the portfolio that was acquired. GCP 3001 Gateway LLC had acquired it in 2019 for $14.8 million, property records show.
Exeter, with U.S. headquarters in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest real estate investment managers in the world.
The building was part of GCP’s Fund I portfolio, which included seven properties in Florida totaling 2.3 million square feet, according to REBusinessonline. The portfolio also included 11 properties in Alabama totaling 2.9 million square feet; 13 properties in Georgia totaling 2.9 million square feet; seven properties in North Carolina totaling 1.9 million square feet; and nine properties in South Carolina totaling 1.6 million square feet. The properties were 98 percent occupied at the time of sale, REBusinessonline said.
The deal shows the investment community is “laser-focused” on buying institutional-quality industrial properties in growth markets as a response to the changing landscape brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, John Huguenard, senior managing director in the Chicago office of JLL Capital Markets, told REBusinessOnline. He brokered the transaction on behalf of GCP, a Birmingham, Alabama-based operator, developer and manager of industrial properties.
Davidoff of Geneva USA is the U.S. subsidiary of Oettinger Davidoff AG, one of the world’s best-known luxury tobacco companies with brands such as Davidoff white label, Avo Cigars and Camacho cigars, according to Cigar Aficionado. Dylan Austin heads the company locally as president of Davidoff Americas. The Pinellas Park facility includes a sales office and manufacturing operations, said Shannon Coughlin, economic development manager for the city of Pinellas Park.
Davidoff of Geneva qualified for state and local incentives to relocate its U.S. headquarters from St. Petersburg to the Pinellas Park site in 2010. However, state records indicate no payments have been made under either the Quick Action Closing Fund or Qualified Target Industry tax refund program to date.