Labor of Love: A Repositioned Office Building in Charlotte Garners Attention from Abroad

February 22 3 min read

Stream Realty Partners (Stream) is pleased to announce the sale of 300 S. Brevard Street, a 358,400-square-foot office tower in Charlotte’s Central Business District, to Hana Alternative Asset Management, a South Korean investment firm, for $201 million ($560 per square foot). The office building is fully leased long-term to Wells Fargo, with Middle C Jazz Club and the Public House restaurants taking up retail space on the street level. The Stream Carolinas team of Daniel Farrar, Adam Jackson and Bob Boykin were instrumental in repositioning the asset over the last six years.

Previously known as AT&T Plaza, Stream acquired 300 S. Brevard in 2015 for $45.5 million from a partnership between Childress Klein Properties and Norfolk Southern Railroad. The tenant, AT&T, was vacating and moving its operations to the suburbs. The building sat on a ground lease, which Stream ultimately purchased, helping to clean up the title and adding tremendous value to the project as a whole.

In 2016, Stream implemented a full-scale capital improvement program with a vision of creating something completely different than what was previously being offered in the marketplace. The improvements aimed to provide a more collaborative “tech” vibe to attract companies who recognize Charlotte as a top tech city in the U.S. Spending close to $17 million on extensive renovations over the course of the next two years, Stream completely overhauled the interior, designed a new façade and incorporated light rail connectivity. The comprehensive repositioning effort included a full elevator modernization, roof replacement, electrical upgrade, common area renovations and an expansive lobby facelift that featured multiple collaborative seating areas and two large murals commissioned by local group, Hooker Media, as well as the addition of outdoor terraces and patios for tenants to enjoy fresh air. During the substantial upgrade of the 15-story trophy asset, it achieved certified LEED Silver status with the U.S. Green Building Council.

When renovations concluded in 2018, 300 S. Brevard was essentially transformed into a true “business and lifestyle” environment, providing unparalleled connectivity to the city’s best amenities while offering modern functionality. At the time, it was the largest block of available space in all of Charlotte’s CBD, and one of only two buildings directly situated on a light rail stop. 300 S. Brevard’s ability to provide interconnectedness in the heart of the city’s central business district has played an integral role in its appeal. With its proximity to the light rail/Lynx Blue Line’s Third Street Station, Charlotte Convention Center, numerous hotels—and not to mention connectivity to the Overstreet Mall by covered walkway—the building offers ease of access to a plethora of dining, retail and cultural options to add to its status as a first-class destination.

“We recognized how unique the asset was, so we took an extremely patient stance in determining which tenants to actively pursue, the most efficient way to divide the building, and what would benefit the project overall from a tenancy standpoint,” said Daniel Farrar, Managing Partner of Stream Carolinas.

In 2019, Wells Fargo ultimately leased the entirety of the building’s office space in conjunction with an exit of several floors at nearby One Wells Fargo Center. 300 S. Brevard offered much larger floorplates than One Wells, giving the bank the flexibility to upfit it to create a high-density, collaborative workspace.

Farrar continued, “In early 2020, right before the pandemic hit the U.S., Stream initiated the process of bringing the building to market, engaging CBRE as exclusive agent for the marketing of the sale. 300 S. Brevard received exceptionally strong interest from offshore investors, particularly Asian capital sources, as strong credit-worthy, single-tenant office has emerged as an attractive asset class for overseas investors seeking security in the U.S. But with the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing by March, the bidding process hit the pause button.”

A few months later, as business activity started to gain momentum, CBRE followed up with originally interested parties and went under contract with Hana Alternative Asset Management, one of many South Korean groups who had expressed interest in the property. With interest rates low, pricing for the building ended up increasing slightly. Hana moved forward with the purchase—it’s very first acquisition in the Carolinas.

“Charlotte and the overall Carolinas marketplace is a strategic growth area, which makes it a core focus for our firm. We believe the city will continue to attract top talent from across the country, creating further economic expansion due to its reputation for offering a high quality of life,” said Adam Jackson, Stream’s Managing Partner of Investment Management Services. “With Charlotte and the Carolinas now on foreign investors’ radars, the region will hopefully thrive as a formidable demand generator, creating fruitful investment opportunities for office properties such as 300 S. Brevard.”

CBRE’s Patrick Gildea, Matt Smith, Brandon McMenomy, Grayson Hawkins and Will Pike served as exclusive marketing agents for the sale, while their Debt and Structured Finance team including Greg Greene and Harris Ralston secured financing for the buyer.