In what appears to be the highest price ever paid for a Columbus office building, Qatar First Bank has bought the new CoverMyMeds headquarters for $120 million.
The price includes only the first of two buildings in the $240 million Franklinton development. CoverMyMeds is wrapping up the building and plans to start moving employees in within a few weeks.
Franklin County Auditor records identify the buyer as MK 1 Property Co., registered in the state of Delaware, but Qatar First Bank announced the acquisition in a news release widely reported in publications that cover Persian Gulf business news.
“The acquisition of this trophy asset is a landmark deal for QFB and an architectural landmark as well for the city of Columbus, Ohio,” Alexandre Bernassau, Qatar First Bank’s head of investment, said in the release.
“It is one amazing addition of which I am particularly proud and one that will further cement the Bank’s reputation … in the US real estate investment scene.”
CoverMyMeds signed a 10-year lease for the 218,000-square-foot building, according to the release. A second building, 200,000 square feet, is well underway and is expected to be completed next year.
The sale does not impact CoverMyMeds’ operations at the building, the company said.
“The property where the CoverMyMeds campus is located in Columbus, Ohio, was recently sold by one developer to another,” said Chrissy Hand, senior vice president for operations at CoverMyMeds. “This represents no change for CoverMyMeds. We remain the long-term tenant for both buildings, committed to this investment in our staff and the community in Franklinton.”
The $120 million purchase price tops the previous record high for a Columbus office building, $106.2 million for the Huntington tower, in 2012, according to data from the commercial real-estate firm Colliers.
The price also dwarfs most recent sales of Columbus-area offices, which include the office tower at 65 E. State St. ($36.8 million in October), 2900 Easton Square ($65.7 million in March 2020), a Westar Boulevard office building at Polaris ($33.1 million in January 2020), 80 on the Commons ($72 million in 2019), and 3100 Easton Square ($18.6 million in December).
“This transaction is a great representation that we continue to see strong interest from investors in purchasing office buildings in Columbus,” said Dan Dunsmoor, an executive vice president with Colliers’ Columbus office.
“Despite the negativity surrounding the office market, this is a great representation of the underlying strength of the Columbus office market.”
The $120 million price includes the CoverMyMeds building and an empty lot kitty corner to the building along McKinley Avenue.
According to the news release, the property is the seventh U.S. building purchased by Qatar First Bank, following acquisitions in Texas, Arizona and Washington, D.C.
“I am delighted to see QFB expands (sic) its footprint in the US real estate market and to see the Bank getting recognized on the international scene as a credible and reputable outfit operating on par with other players,” Ayman Zaidan, the bank’s deputy CEO and chief investment officer, said in a news release.
The CoverMyMeds building was developed by Cambridge Holdings in Dallas. The company did not respond immediately to requests for comment.