Real Estate - Commercial

Millions Of Dollars In Office Buildings Change Hands

By Cece Nunn, posted Apr 18, 2023
Legg Properties purchased the office property at 1845 Sir Tyler Drive on April 6. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
In separate deals totaling more than $20 million, two office buildings in Wilmington are under new ownership, and tonight, the Wilmington City Council could take the next step in its potential purchase of the Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. campus in downtown Wilmington. 

Adding to holdings

Legg Properties, managed by MegaCorp Logistics CEO Ryan Legg, bought 1845 Sir Tyler Drive for nearly $9 million on April 6, property tax records show. 

MegaCorp, a third-party logistics firm headquartered in Wilmington, has been growing rapidly in recent years, with the company in 2022 sharing plans to add 300 employees over five years.

The 32,000-square-foot Sir Tyler Drive building now owned by MegaCorp, where the current tenant is Summit Logistics, previously belonged to Pines Property Investment LLC, according to tax records. In April 2020, screening firm CastleBranch officials announced that the company had completed a $28.5 million purchase of its headquarters buildings at 1844 and 1845 Sir Tyler Drive in Wilmington, as well as the building next door at 1838 Sir Tyler Drive, as part of a joint venture with SHP Acquisitions.

As of Tuesday afternoon, efforts to reach a CastleBranch official for more information about the sale and what it means for CastleBranch were unsuccessful, as were attempts to gather more details from MegaCorp.

Before the most recent purchase, Legg Properties already owned five office buildings and more than 100,000 square feet in the Mayfaire area.

In late February for an article on office space in WilmingtonBiz Magazine, Legg said he was in negotiations to buy another 32,000 square feet of office space.
“We have about 400 employees here in town, and we’re going to hire at least 30 to 40 a year,” Legg said at the time. With another 32,000 square feet, “I could probably get 250 people in there.”

County acquisition

On Monday, New Hanover County completed its purchase of the former Bank of America building at 319 N. Third St. for $11.375 million from River Bend #1 LLC. 

The county is expected to spend $14.8 million to enhance the five-story, 55,000-square-foot building that would be used by Cape Fear Community College to expand its nursing and allied health programs, according to a previous Greater Wilmington Business Journal story.

Paul Loukas and Hank Miller of Wilmington-based firm Cape Fear Commercial represented the county in the purchase.

Big buy for the city?

City of Wilmington officials in January revealed their intent to consider buying the former PPD headquarters building and its campus at 929 N. Front St. Thermo Fisher, a global pharmaceutical company, bought PPD and its Wilmington property in December 2021 and announced in April 2022 that the campus could be sold.

In the city's plan, part of the building would be used for city offices and the other leased to private tenants, including Thermo Fisher.

At the Wilmington City Council meeting at 6:30 tonight, the council will hold a public hearing and consider a resolution "to amend an installment financing contract to finance the acquisition of a downtown campus for a principal amount not to exceed $70 million.  Approval of the resolution will authorize staff to proceed with all matters necessary for the Installment Financing.

"The proceeds of this financing will pay the capital costs of acquiring the downtown campus, including a building with 370,000 square feet of office space, a parking deck and related property in which the city will consolidate city administrative offices," city officials said in an email this week.

Current city office buildings would be sold to help offset the cost of the campus.

On Feb. 21, the city council approved a resolution to declare nine city-owned properties downtown as surplus “contingent on the possible purchase of the Thermo Fisher campus (North Front Street campus).”
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