GBMain_Image_eblastExcerpt from Palm Beach Post:

The signature Golden Bear Plaza office complex in Palm Beach Gardens has gone up for sale, and potential buyers already are pawing over the property.

“It’s overwhelming. I’m exhausted. In the first two weeks, I’ve done 14 tours, and I have five more scheduled for next week. People are flying in from all over the country to look at this property,” said Neil Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman in West Palm Beach.

Golden Bear Plaza is a 243,000-square-foot Class-A, three-building office complex with Intracoastal and ocean views. It is just north of PGA Boulevard on US Highway One.

The property is being marketed by NAI Merin Hunter and CBRE’s Christian Lee and Josen Lobon.

Merin expects the property to sell soon, for between $65 million to $68 million.

The first of three buildings was built in 1985 by a group that included golf great Jack Nicklaus. Since then, the property has traded hands several times.

Although Nicklaus no longer has an ownership interest in the complex, Nicklaus still has his corporate headquarters there, which includes his renowned golf course design firm, Nicklaus Design.

With an 83 percent occupancy level, the building still has some room for more tenants, creating upside potential for the next owner. This is especially appealing to potential buyers because the area office market is 92 percent leased, meaning there is very little vacant office space available.

The current owner did a $2 million upgrade within the past two years, including putting in a new air conditioning system and new roofs, Merin said. But the next owner might want to freshen up the hallways and bathrooms, he added.

Still, the project’s lure is the man behind the name and the Golden Bear moniker, Merin said.

Peter Reed, managing principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services, agreed with Merin that the property still has plenty of upside potential, as Palm Beach Gardens remains a growing and desirable market.

“Just like a good pair of golf spikes, Golden Bear Plaza continues to fit well for many corporate users,” Reed quipped.

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