Huntington buys Bells Corners building

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An Ottawa-based asset management firm is adding a single-storey suburban office building to its growing portfolio.

Huntington Properties purchased the property at 2175 Robertson Rd. from Erez Capital for $8.35 million, according to local brokerage firm Primecorp Commercial Realty, which advised the vendor on the sale.

The purchase price represents a cap rate - the ratio of a property's annual operating income to purchase price - of 7.67 per cent.

Erez, which represents offshore investors mainly from Israel, purchased the property in 2009 from Robertson Road Self Storage Corp. for $8.1 million, according to records published by local real estate advisory and appraisal firm Juteau Johnson Comba Inc.

The former Beaver Lumber retail store was converted into a call centre in 1999.

The 48,390-square-foot building - formerly known as 145 Robertson Rd. -  is fully leased by Davis + Henderson, which provides services and products to the financial sector. Reports say the 10-year lease commenced July 1, 2007.

It was previously brought to market in 2011 as part of a three-property portfolio sale, but Primecorp principal Aik Aliferis said the Robertson Road building was sold independently of the other two properties.

He says investor demand is currently "exceptional" for quality real estate assets in Ottawa and adds the Robertson Road property attracted the interest of some institutional players in spite of its size.

While institutional owners such as pension funds generally prefer to focus on assets worth more than $10 million, Mr. Aliferis said they will still explore smaller assets.

"Ottawa is still at the top of the radar screen of all our institutional clients across Canada," he said.

"If you are an independent (investor), you really are competing (against institutional buyers), even at the lower levels."