The American Airlines reservation center off Hanes Mall Boulevard has its second ownership group in four years, selling for $22.5 million in the process.
Preh Hanes Mall LLC of Nashville, Tenn., and MRK Airlines LLC, based in Trump Tower in New York City, bought the 101,000-square-foot building and 10 acres at 799 Hanes Mall Blvd.
“American Airlines will remain a tenant of the building under its new ownership,” spokesman Derek Walls said.
“We recently renewed the lease for the space we occupy in the building and look forward to continue serving our customers from the Winston-Salem reservations office.”
Walls said the local center has about 700 employees.
The buyers could not be immediately reached for comment on their purchase.
The seller is UR Hanes DST, an affiliate of United Realty of New York City. The deal closed Friday, according to a Forsyth County Register of Deeds filing.
UR Hanes purchased the facility for $15.3 million from Highwoods Realty Ltd. Partnership in August 2015, meaning it had a 47% gain from Friday’s sale.
By comparison, the property had a $10.4 million property-tax value when it was sold by the Highwoods affiliate.
The center was built in 1987.
“More than likely, the lease has been extended since the last purchase of August 2015, which would serve to reduce the cap rate and inherently increase the valuation/purchase price,” said Raymond Collins, with Collins Commercial Properties Inc.
“Additionally, many national/institutional investors are looking to second- and third-tier markets, of which Winston Salem and Greensboro would be included, rather than a singular focus on institutional grade markets, such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh or Chicago.”
Collins also said that the significant increase in new construction costs for commercial and industrial real estate “has slowed new construction, reducing new construction properties available to the market.”
“Higher construction costs inversely increase the attractiveness of existing properties in that they can be purchased below the cost of new construction/replacement costs.”
Collins also said “some investors see the stock market as nearing a peek, and therefore looking for the solid returns found in long term leased investment real estate.”
The sale of the American reservations center comes just a week after a high-profile Chicago medical real-estate investment trust expanded its ownership presence in the Winston-Salem area in a major way by spending a combined $83.86 million on seven properties.
In each instance, Novant Health Inc. leases the properties.
The most expensive of the seven deals is the Winston-Salem 250A APL MP LLC affiliate of MB Real Estate spending $33.4 million for the Winston-Salem Health Care facility at 250 Charlois Blvd.
The sellers in each instance are affiliates of BCC Carolina LLC of Key West, Fla. The BCC Carolina groups paid a combined $35 million for the four properties in July 2009.
Altogether, the MB Real Estate affiliates have spent a combined $124.85 million on 13 Triad properties since May.
John H. Boyd, with site-selection firm The Boyd Co. of Princeton, N.J., said the premium being paid for commercial real-estate properties is a reflection of “strong economic, demographic and technological drivers are in all place now.”