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Ohio-based company enters SC real estate market with $11 million building acquisition

Real Estate - Commercial
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Ohio-based Viking Partners has acquired the North Rhett Executive Center in North Charleston for a little more than $11 million. (Photo/Provided)

As local companies grow the Charleston commercial real estate market from within the region, businesses from out-of-state are recognizing the value of the Lowcountry as well.

Viking Partners, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, has taken its first steps in expanding into South Carolina with its off-market acquisition of North Rhett Executive Center, located in North Charleston.

This 64,801-square-foot office and flex building was acquired for $11.2 million.

The transaction was completed on behalf of Viking Partners Fund IV Holdings LLC, the fourth value-add fund of the commercial real estate investment and asset management firm.

“Charleston is a market we want to continue to grow in,” said Viking principal and co-founder Bret A. Caller, in a statement. “The military presence has provided some stability and growth opportunities there, even through the pandemic. As we continue to build our relationships in the market, we will expand our portfolio there.”

The acquired building, located at 5617 N. Rhett Ave., was built in 2008 and 100% leased to the Fortune 500 company, Science Applications International Corp. In 2018, the company rightsized the property for future needs, and the previous ownership backfilled a portion of that space.

According to a news release, Viking Partners intends to backfill the remaining 12,000 square feet of vacancy — which had been built out to meet Class A specifications — including a modern setup with furniture, fixtures and equipment in place for the next tenant.

Company vice president Aaron Werbel led acquisition efforts on behalf of the private equity firm. According to Werbel, this investment comes after two years of developing relationships and searching the market for an asset that met Viking Partners’ investment criteria.

“This building benefits from credit tenants and an excellent infill location with limited supply and high barriers to entry,” Werbel said in a statement. “Its proximity to the port and the Naval Information Warfare Center makes it an ideal location for defense contractors who need to be within a 10-mile radius of the naval base. At our cost basis, we will further improve the asset and reposition it as a well-located value alternative to the higher-priced space in competitive buildings.”  

Viking Partners was founded in 2008. The company has raised nearly $270 million in equity, leading to the acquisition of approximately $1.2 billion of real estate. According to its website, Viking currently holds existing properties in 10 other states. Future plans include expanding within South Carolina, as well as across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and Mountain West.

Reach Alexandria Ng at 843-849-3124.

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