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Starwood Venture Buys Wells Fargo East Coast Headquarters

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April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group LLC and partner Vision Equities bought the 1 Wells Fargo Center office tower in Charlotte, North Carolina, as property investors seek higher yields in secondary U.S. markets.

The 42-story building is 98 percent leased and serves as the East Coast headquarters for Wells Fargo & Co., Greenwich, Connecticut-based Starwood said today in a statement. Seven of the nine biggest tenants occupy 92 percent of the rentable office space, with an average remaining lease term of about seven and a half years, according to the statement.

“We are pleased to be acquiring one of the premier office buildings in Charlotte’s central business district,” Mark Keatley, senior vice president at Starwood Capital, said in the statement. He called Charlotte, the home of Bank of America Corp., one of the “most attractive cities for corporations to locate,” with “outsized job and population growth.”

Properties beyond so-called gateway U.S. cities -- New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago and Boston -- are benefiting from robust demand and helping to fuel real estate deals, according to research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc. Prices in non-major markets have outpaced gains in larger cities in recent months as buyers cast their nets wider in the search for higher-yielding investments, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said last week.

Starwood didn’t disclose terms of the Wells Fargo Center purchase. The seller was Childress Klein Properties, which will continue to handle management and leasing at the tower under a long-term agreement, according to Starwood’s statement.

The price was $245 million, the Charlotte Business Journal reported on its website two days ago.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Levy in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at

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