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AgFirst pays $26 million for BofA Plaza


Staff Report
Published Dec. 10, 2012

AgFirst Farm Credit Bank paid $26 million for the 17-story Bank of America Plaza in downtown Columbia, according to the firm that brokered the sale.

The sales price for the 303,156-square-foot building, which will be AgFirst’s headquarters, was reported by Transwestern Southeast Investment Services Group’s office in Atlanta.

AgFirst Farm Credit paid $26 million for the Bank of America Plaza, which serve as the company’s headquarters.(Photo/File)
AgFirst Farm Credit Bank paid $26 million for the Bank of America Plaza, which will serve as the company’s headquarters. (Photo/File)
AgFirst recently closed on the purchase of the Class “A” office building, which was 69% leased at the time of the sale, from Charlotte-based Lincoln Harris, the property’s receiver.

AgFirst plans to move its operations and some 380 full-time and contract employees into the building by the end of 2013.

When AgFirst completes its move, the vacancy rate for Class “A” office space in the Central Business District will fall to 8.7%­ — its lowest level in 20 years, according to David Lockwood, senior vice president of Colliers International.

After evaluating several build-to-suit options in the downtown market, AgFirst determined the Bank of America Plaza presented a strong investment opportunity for an upgraded space with a price substantially below the cost to develop a new building, Transwestern said.

AgFirst is currently headquartered downtown in a 118,000-square-foot structure at 1401 Hampton St. that Transwestern labeled “functionally obsolete.”

Bank of America, which occupies 63,000 square feet of the plaza, will remain the primary tenant. The building is home to several other tenants in the finance, insurance, legal, government and real estate industries, including Turner Padgett, Elliott Davis and NAI Avant.

“Bank of America Plaza was well-received by the investment community thanks to its quality design and location within downtown Columbia’s strong and diverse economy,” said Kevin Markwordt, Transwestern managing director. He added that the building drew more than 25 offers.

Built in 1989, Bank of America Plaza became the first building in South Carolina to be awarded LEED for Existing Buildings Gold certification.

Markwordt, Jon Kleinberg and Julian Brown represented Lincoln Harris. AgFirst was represented by Lockwood and John Folsom with Colliers.

AgFirst is part of the Farm Credit System, the largest agricultural lending organization in the United States. With assets of more than $29 billion, AgFirst is the largest S.C.-based financial institution.

It provides funding and financial services to 20 farmer-owned financial cooperatives in 15 eastern states and Puerto Rico.

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Added: 10 Dec 2012

Life must be GOOD on the farm!

Keith