The owners of Huntington Center faced a situation increasingly common among today’s real estate investors: they owned the premier downtown office tower, but the march of time threatened to unseat their asset’s enviable position in the market as the definition of core evolves. According to CoStar, some 75% of all U.S. office stock is more than 20 years old. Huntington Center was now in its third decade.
In 2012, Carlton Associates took a two-thirds interest in the Columbus, Ohio, property, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and completed in 1984, sharing ownership with Hines and two other partners. “They came in with the idea that they were acquiring a best-in-market asset,” explains Dan Eifert, vice president of property management at Hines. The 37-story office tower across the street from Capitol Square is positioned directly on the center line of the capitol building. “No other building has a comparable location. It commanded top-of-the-market rents and strong tenancy, and it had some vacancy with potential to capture upside from new leasing.”