Two prominent Downtown office buildings up for sale

Steve Wartenberg, The Columbus Dispatch
The 34-story Continental Plaza, which at one time was known as the Borden Building, sold for $28.9 million in 2008, and for $47.8 million in 1998, according to the Franklin County auditor.

August 20, 2014

Two large office buildings on or near Capitol Square are for sale, a sign that the revitalization of Downtown remains strong, according to a local real-estate expert.

The Fifth Third Center, at 21 E. State St., and the Continental Plaza, at 180 E. Broad St., are both seeking buyers, according to the owners of the properties.

"I think the owners feel this is a good time to sell," said Mike Simpson, president of NAI Ohio Equities. "It reflects the strength of the central Ohio economy and all the investments that have been made Downtown."

Those investments, however, have not included new large office buildings in recent years, he said.

"I think the prognosis for office space is relatively good, and this could mean the lease rates will be going up," Simpson said.

The Fifth Third building is owned by Dallas-based Tier REIT. "I can confirm it's for sale, but that's all the information I have," said spokeswoman Kelly Sargent.

The 331,000-square-foot building is 76 percent leased, according to a recent federal filing by Tier.

Commercial real-estate company Jones Lang LaSalle is the listing agent for the Continental office building, which is owned by Terra Funding, an affiliate of Hawaii-based Shidler Group.

"We can confirm that we are marketing it, but I can't discuss any sales details," said Bruce Miller of the Chicago office of Jones Lang LaSalle.

The 34-story building has 655,000 square feet. The occupancy rate is 94 percent, Miller said.

Its most recent sale price was $28.9 million in 2008, and it sold for $47.8 million in 1998, according to the Franklin County auditor.