Real Estate Inc. Awards 2017: Building transaction
Fred Arena, a real estate investor, says he wanted to own on Pratt Street.
These are the building sales that had the biggest impact on Baltimore’s market.
First place: 100 E. Pratt St.
Fred Arena has had his eye on Pratt Street for years. The New Jersey real estate investor bid on four Pratt Street office towers, but finished second each time.
Arena’s luck changed with 100 E. Pratt St., the 653,000-square-foot trophy property his firm purchased for $187.5 million in March 2016.
“If you’re going to own in Baltimore, you want to own on Pratt,” said Arena, a former Goldman Sachs executive who founded Vision Properties in 2006.
100 E. Pratt St., known for its sleek, white steel sculptured roof, is the headquarters of T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and is nearly fully leased. T. Rowe occupies 427,000 square feet, and is locked in through 2027, a key selling point for Arena.
Additionally, much of the change underway to enhance the retail offerings along Pratt Street made the building attractive to Vision Properties. The neighboring 400 E. Pratt St. has seen success with a retail build-out that includes Shake Shack and Chick-fil-A, while other expansions are planned for 100 Light St. and 100 S. Charles St.
Vision Properties are long-term owners, Arena said, and “can invest in the building without having to do Band-Aid repairs.”
So far, Vision Properties has spent about $2.5 million on enhancing the lobby at 100 E. Pratt St. and creating a collaborative room “that’s basically a building lounge.”
In 2017, the company has a capital plan to address mechanical upgrades to the property.
Vision Properties has 7.5 million square feet in its portfolio, including buildings in Charlotte, N.C. and Atlanta.
With its first Baltimore deal in the books, Arena said additional transactions could follow.
“We would be interested in more for the right property,” he said.