ABB’s Highland Hills building sells for $ 34.25 million

A Texas-based buyer bought ABB’s offices and research complex in Highland Hills in a $ 34.25 million transaction.

The sale closed on December 10, according to public records, which indicate that Dallas-based Lone Star Properties is the buyer.

Brian Schwartz, president of Lone Star, signed a mortgage document along with the purchase. He is also listed as the contact person for the new ownership entity on documents filed with the Ohio Secretary of State.

Schwartz did not respond to an interview request.

The seller was a group of investors that included Ox Capital Partners, a Cleveland-area fund manager and commercial real estate consultant, and Weston Inc., the Warrensville Heights-based company that developed and originally owned the ABB project.

The 145,000 square foot building opened in January 2018 on a former driving range at 23000 Harvard Road in Chagrin Highlands Corporate Park. The following month, Weston transferred ownership to an investor partnership managed by Steve Feldman, the managing partner of Ox Capital Partners.

Feldman said market conditions prompted the sale. “We are satisfied with the result,” he said in a telephone conversation.

Public records show ABB still has 11 years on its lease. The listed industrial automation company is based in Switzerland. ABB moved hundreds of jobs to Highland Hills from Wickliffe four years ago, in a deal that received support from the city, Cuyahoga County and the state.

BWE Investment Sales, a branch of Cleveland-based mortgage banking firm, Bellwether Enterprise, marketed the property to potential buyers. Rob Starrett, senior vice president of BWE, said the list had generated “extremely positive interest”.

In a press release released on Tuesday, Jan.4, Matthews Real Estate Investment Services said the buyer purchased the property as part of a 1031 swap – an investment-property swap that allows the buyer to defer the payment of capital gains tax.

Matthews, who said he worked on the 1031 swap deal, did not identify Lone Star by name.

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