Boise’s Washington Group Plaza gets new owner

krodine@idahostatesman.comJune 20, 2013 

Washington Group Plaza consists of four connected buildings and a parking garage on the east end of Downtown Boise between East Park Boulevard (foreground) and West Parkcenter Boulevard (between the plaza and Dona Larsen Park, with the red track). South Broadway Avenue is at left.

PROVIDED BY THORNTON OLIVER KELLER

Washington Group Plaza, a four-building, 556,0000 square-foot complex at 720 Park Blvd. in Boise, is changing hands, Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate announced Thursday.

Second City Capital Partners, based in Vancouver, B.C., bought the property from New Jersey-based PSEG, said Marc Stimpson, director of corporate operations for Thornton Oliver Keller, which will manage and lease the buildings.

Morrison Knudsen Corp., which was founded in Boise in 1912, occupied the complex’s first buildings in the 1970s. The construction company became Washington Group in 2000, four years after the Montana billionaire Dennis Washington bought the company following its 1996 bankruptcy.

San-Francisco-based URS bought Washington Group for $3.1 billion in 2007. It put the URS name on the office complex’s most prominent building and still occupies that building and parts of other plaza buildings, Stimpson said.

Stimpson said he could not disclose the sales price, but the Ada County Assessor’s website shows a 2013 assessed value for the the complex of about $37.2 million, down from about $37.7 million last year.

The complex is 92 percent full and renting at $18.50 per square foot, Stimpson said. It has not been determined how much the space will go for once planned upgrades have been made, he said.

The new owners plan improvements to the lobby, parking garage and common areas and aim to make the complex “the premier class A office address for companies in Boise,” Greg Tylee, managing director of Second City Capital, said in a news release.

Second City plans improvements to the lobby, parking garage and other portions of the property, but specifics, such as time frame and the amount of capital investment planned, have not been determined yet, he said.

“It’s all very preliminary now,” Stimpson said, noting that the sale wasn’t final until June 7. “We’re definitely going to have announcements to make later in the summer about plans for the property.”

Washington Group Plaza is situated between Downtown Boise, Boise State University and Southeast Boise. The complex includes a 250-seat auditorium and multi-media center, meeting rooms and an on-site cafeteria.

Second City Capital is a multi-fund private equity firm based in Canada but with extensive holdings in the United States. Its City II fund focuses on the western and southern U.S., “primarily on acquisitions in secondary markets with strong long-term fundamentals,” according to the company’s website. “City II was launched in June 2011 and has closed transactions in excess of $200 million to date.”

The Boise complex is not yet listed on the website.

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