Real estate landmark getaways

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From John Alvarado
Managing Director
Jones Lang LaSalle

Around now people across the country pack their bags, leaving winter blues behind, and get out of dodge for Spring Break, searching for fun in the sun, thrills on the slopes or for adventure in major gateway cities. Many choose their vacation plans based on family traditions, school and work schedules, or cost. Our family tradition is rather unconventional—we like to go to a new place each and every time. The world is too big for repeat destinations!

This year, I decided to introduce my teenage daughter Megan to one of my favorite cities in the world: San Francisco. Being a real estate geek (Megan would argue that I do not need to qualify the word “geek” here), every trip we make includes a visit to landmark office buildings that, in my opinion, give every destination a “sense of place.” I get away with this by explaining that it is for “work” reasons and that it will be quick. Which got me to thinking: If I were going to some of my other favorite cities, what buildings would I visit, and why?

Well, here’s a partial list of suggestions, if you happen to be in one of these cities:

• If all you need is some good ol’ southern hospitality, head to Atlanta, where you can marvel at 3344 Peachtree. The property recently sold for $345 per square foot—a record price for Buckhead.

• If you prefer to catch a Red Sox game and throw yourself a Tea Party in Boston, stop by Exchange Place. The buildings,  at 33 Arch Street and 53 State Street, were recently purchased by TIAA-CREF and UBS respectively.

• Want to catch a wave, soak up the California sun, and network with Hollywood’s hottest celebs? Then Los Angeles is the place for you. There, 550 South Hope, a 566,434-square-foot Class A office building, just sold for $157 million. The investment market is looking to Asian investors to once again drive the West Coast transaction volumes in 2012.

• If you fancy the arts and are ready to take Broadway by storm, or just want to see what a $1 billion office building looks like, head to New York City! Manhattan’s investment sales regained strength in 2011 and will remain a magnet for investors focused on gateway cities.

• If you enjoy a great debate and favor a city full of rich national history and museums, head to Washington, D.C.  Market activity in 2011 was highlighted by the sale of Market Square  at 701 and 801 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, which sold for $905 per square foot.

• If there is no place like home and you are ready for a staycation here in Dallas, give yourself an excuse to explore the “bigger and better” our city has to offer. Go check out Energy Square, which was the largest office transaction completed in Dallas in 2011.

Whether staying near or traveling far, enjoy your spring break!

To learn more about how leasing and investment markets in the U.S. differ across geographies, read the Jones Lang LaSalle North America Skyline Review.

-John

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