Business

Meridian Building sold to California company

Folks enjoy lunch at Zoe's Kitchen, which operates on the 1st floor of the Meridian Building on Main Street.
Folks enjoy lunch at Zoe's Kitchen, which operates on the 1st floor of the Meridian Building on Main Street. The State

Hertz Investment Group has purchased six office towers in four Southern cities, including the Meridian Building in downtown Columbia, in a $417 million acquisition, the California-based company announced Monday.

The 17-story Meridian Building, built in 2004 and located along Main Street three blocks from the State House, contains more than 334,000 square feet of office space.

The building is 91 percent leased, Hertz said. Tenants include the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and Ogletree Deakins law firms and the Morgan Stanley financial firm.

The Meridian and the five other buildings that Hertz bought were purchased from Boston-based real estate investment trust Equity Commonwealth. The Massachusetts real estate investment trust bought the Meridian in 2012 for a reported $60 million from the building’s developer, Holder Properties.

Hertz’ six office tower acquisition consists of one Class A office building each in the Columbia, New Orleans and Greensboro, N.C., central business districts, along with three other office buildings in central and suburban Birmingham, Ala.

The purchases represent Hertz’ first acquisitions in the Carolinas and Alabama.

The portfolio of purchases allowed Hertz to acquire “best in class” assets at prices significantly lower than new construction would cost, positioning it in high-occupancy buildings located in “vibrant, key cities in the Southeast,” the company said.

“Hertz Investment Group views these new markets as outstanding and extraordinary opportunities,” Hertz President Gary Howitz said in a statement Monday. “One of our primary strategies is to find outstanding office buildings in the central business districts of midsized cities. To acquire four in one deal is extremely rare and exciting for our company.”

Reach Burris at (803) 771-8398

Twitter: @RoddieBurris

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