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Investment Funds From West Palm and NYC Partner on a Boca Raton Office Complex Deal

Commercial real estate is more than holding its own in South Florida, and sometimes in unexpected places, courtesy of investment funds with muscle.

MHCommercial Real Estate Fund II, a discretionary real estate private equity fund formed by Dung Lam, Neil E. Merin and Jordan Paul, has closed on the purchase of Yamato Office Center in Boca Raton for $45.9 million ($267 per square foot) in a joint venture partnership with an institutional real estate fund based out of New York, reflecting less a competition between the Empire State and the Sunshine State than a vibrant symbiosis.

Yamato Office Center is a 171,724-square-foot office complex with two Class-A office buildings located at 999 and 1001 Yamato Road, Boca Raton. Yamato Office Center was approximately 71% leased at the time of the sale. Christian Lee, Marcos Minaya and Sean Kelly with CBRE Capital Markets represented the seller, Adler Real Estate Partners.

999 Yamato Road, built in 2000, is a three-story, 82,974-square-foot office building, while 1001 Yamato Road, built in 1986, is a four-story, 88,750-square-foot office building. The complex is located near the entrance of the Park at Broken Sound and is situated on approximately 10 acres of prime Yamato Road frontage, offering a generous parking ratio that includes covered parking. The Park of Broken Sound has recently benefited from a renaissance through the development of over 1,900 multifamily units and more than 554,000 square feet of retail. Yamato Office Center’s prime location is a short drive to a large variety of nearby upscale amenities and 15 minutes away from transportation infrastructures including Interstate 95, the Boca Raton Airport, Tri-Rail and the future Boca Raton Brightline Florida station.

MHCREFII is the second real estate fund for Neil Merin, Dung Lam and Jordan Paul after closing and fully deploying their first fund in December 2021, acquiring approximately $125 million in commercial real estate. The fund launched in January 2022 and closed on its first acquisition in April 2022 with the $32.5 million purchase of EcoPlex Office Center in West Palm Beach. Yamato Office Center is the second acquisition for the fund with a target to acquire a total of $250 million of commercial real estate throughout the southeastern United States over the next 12 to 18 months.

A statement from MHCREF and MHCREFII principals Neil E. Merin, Dung Lam and Jordan Paul read, “We are very excited with the acquisition of Yamato Office Center at a purchase price well below replacement cost while also providing a tremendous opportunity to create value. Our plan is to reposition the asset as a premier Class-A office center primarily through capital improvements, allowing Yamato Office Center to capture the robust demand for Class-A office space in Boca Raton. Boca Raton is one of the nation’s most attractive communities for wealthy decision makers and Yamato Office Center is specifically located in one of Boca Raton’s most rapidly urbanizing micromarkets.”

Corey Winsett, director of acquisitions for MHCREF, oversaw the acquisition and due diligence process on behalf of the fund’s JV partnership. Financing for the transaction was provided by LoanCore Capital, a leading institutional lender that has financed over $25 billion in commercial real estate loans since 2008. Steve Kay, managing director and JP Kost, vice president, structured the financing transaction on behalf of LoanCore Capital. Elizabeth Jones and John Strickroot of the Shutts & Bowen law firm represented the purchaser on the transaction. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman will manage and lease the property.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.