Azora strengthens its position in the US with the acquisition of two iconic buildings in Boston and Miami, with a $57M investment
- The asset manager has acquired two iconic properties for $57 million: a modern retail building in Miami Beach, fully leased, and an office building in the heart of Boston's financial district, already leased at 91%, with Fidelity Investments as the anchor tenant.
- Through these transactions, Azora reaffirms its commitment to the U.S. market, where it has invested over $500 million in the commercial and residential sectors since the beginning of 2022.
Madrid, September 7, 2023 – Azora, through its subsidiary Azora Exan, has strengthened its position in the U.S. market by executing two new transactions, totaling a $57 million investment. These acquisitions comprise two iconic properties in prime locations: an office building in Boston, marking the first office transaction in the city since January 2022, and a retail building in Miami Beach. With these acquisitions, Azora's total investment in the commercial and residential sectors in the U.S. since its entry in 2022 now exceeds $500 million.
The office building, located at 7 Post Office Square, has more than 60,000 square feet and was acquired for $41 million. Situated in the heart of Boston's financial district, it is currently 91% leased to seven tenants, with Fidelity Investments having been the primary tenant since 1996. The building's corner facade provides excellent visibility, allowing natural light to enter from three sides. The asset has undergone significant renovations, including the lobby, common areas, bathrooms, and the installation of new mechanical and electrical systems, as well as a new air conditioning system. Additionally, Azora Exan plans to implement a tactical investment plan to enhance the tenant experience and achieve LEED certification in compliance with ESG best practices
The retail building in Miami Beach is located at 1000 17th Street in South Beach, covering 18,000 square feet, and was acquired for $16 million. This iconic and avant-garde commercial building is fully leased and enjoys a prime location in the heart of South Beach, a market that receives 11 million tourists annually. Azora Exan's strategy involves maintaining the current operation of the building while gradually increasing rents, which in some cases, are currently 30% below market rates.
Ignacio Gil-Casares, Managing Partner at Azora Exan, commented: “Both transactions involve trophy assets in prime locations with attractive returns and significant discounts compared to pre-pandemic prices. Unlike other investors who follow the 'herd effect' of not investing in these segments, Azora focuses on analyzing the real estate fundamentals of properties, thus identifying opportunistic deals that generate attractive returns for our investors.”
Juan José Zaragoza, Managing Partner at Azora Exan, added: “We firmly believe that value creation exists in these types of asset classes, which have performed well during the pandemic and offer quality spaces that companies demand in the current market. Over the coming months, our strategy in the commercial segment will focus on expanding our portfolio through the acquisition of boutique office and retail assets in key U.S. markets.”
Azora, which already owns over 1,000 rental homes in strategic markets in the southern and southeastern United States (Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia), is further expanding its commercial portfolio, complementing acquisitions made in 2022 and 2023, including two office buildings in Chicago and Miami, as well as two shopping centers in Fort Lauderdale and Pembroke Pines, Florida, and a complex of office buildings in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Azora entered the U.S. market alongside Exan in December 2021 with the creation of Azora Exan. In May 2022, it launched a new residential rental fund in the U.S. with a total investment target of $650 million over the next three years, focusing on affordable residential rentals in multifamily properties that are already built and operational, generating income from the outset but with potential for improvement through repositioning and active management policies.
In May 2023, it also launched the first Closed-End Investment Company in Spain, a regulated investment vehicle supervised by the CNMV and focused on channeling Spanish investment into its residential rental fund in the U.S.
Azora's strategy also includes offices, industrial, and retail segments in the main U.S. markets, leveraging the experience of its affiliate, Azora Exan, in these sectors.
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