Everything’s bigger in Texas.
Now, a Fort Worth-based company that owns the storied Brown Palace hotel in Denver has made one of the biggest office purchases in Colorado Springs’ history.
Crescent Real Estate last month acquired 13 office buildings in the Springs, which El Paso County land records show were purchased for $125.3 million.
The buildings have a little more than 1 million square feet — a combined space that’s almost the size of The Citadel mall.
The buildings, on the city’s north, east and southeast sides, are some of Colorado Springs’ most appealing Class A, or top-of-the-line, offices — properties with attractive amenities and strategic locations that draw defense contractors, well-known companies and other large employers as tenants.
Crescent officials couldn’t be reached to discuss the transaction. But Steve Eaton, a senior vice president in Crescent’s suburban-Denver office, said in a news release the company was attracted by Colorado Springs’ economy, which “has diversified during the past decade with information technology, healthcare, engineering and consumer services joining the military defense contractor presence.” The company also liked the city’s fast-growing population, he said.
Michael Bannon, a Crescent vice president, said in the release that the 13 buildings “are generally regarded as the nicest, newest and highest quality buildings within the Colorado Springs metro area.” Ten of the 13 buildings were built after 2001, with eight of them developed from 2006 to 2009.
The buildings had been part of the office portfolio owned by Patriot Equities, a Pennsylvania real estate development and investment group. Patriot Equities purchased the properties in 2013 from Corporate Office Properties Trust, a Maryland real estate investment trust that also developed some of the buildings.
Five buildings are southeast of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway in the InterQuest area on Colorado Springs’ far north side. In addition to office and industrial buildings, InterQuest is seeing some of the city’s most explosive retail and commercial growth, with several new restaurants, shopping centers, hotels and entertainment venues.
Five more buildings are part of the Patriot Park business park, northwest of Powers Boulevard and Platte Avenue; two are in the Aerotech Commerce Park, northeast of Powers and Fountain boulevards; and the last building is part of the Colorado Springs Airport’s Peak Innovation Park.
The east and southeast side buildings are close to Peterson Air Force Base and have been home to defense contractors, among others.
While not involved in the transaction, broker Mary Frances Cowan of Quantum Commercial Group in Colorado Springs said the investment by Crescent signals that national investors are bullish on the city and its potential.
Crescent is familiar with the Springs market; it owned the 155,000-square-foot Briargate Office Center in the Briargate Business Campus, southeast of I-25 and Briargate Parkway, before selling it a decade ago, land records show.
Crescent bought the Brown Palace and a nearby Holiday Inn Express in July. Its other assets include Platte Fifteen, a mixed-use project under construction in Denver; the Tuscany Plaza office building in Greenwood Village; and the Flatiron Park office campus in Boulder.