601 Poydras | New Orleans, Louisiana
The What And The Why
Pan American Life Center is an iconic 675,000 square foot office building which is integral to New Orleans’ commercial fabric and home to some of Louisiana’s most well-known companies. Designed by the renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, and located in the New Orleans Central Business District at the corner of Poydras Street and St. Charles Avenue, Pan American Life Center is one of the premier office buildings in the Gulf South.
The best properties in their class never come easy or cheap. Stirling sought to purchase the building from a National company and was bidding against other larger, national commercial real estate companies. Being new to the New Orleans CBD office market and not traditionally known as an office acquirer, we had to think outside the box and use our market expertise and proven track record to compete.
Already managing premier office space including Northpark in Covington, Louisiana and United Plaza in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we noticed obvious synergies with our existing office portfolio, so we decided to seize the opportunity to acquire the best office building in New Orleans. In an abbreviated time frame, we submitted an offer on the coveted property which included $20 million in equity primarily from a local investor group. In a “Best and Final Offer” scenario, we knew that demonstrating a real, clear ability to perform would ensure that we were competitive and able to close.
Our regional professional expertise, personal and local touch, and ability to perform won out over competing institutional firms and we successfully completed the historic $65 million acquisition. Since then, we have added value through improved management and services, addressed major structural issues, and attracted new tenants to the building. Given our familiarity with existing tenants in the building, we have helped several tenants complete expansions and build-outs of space. At closing, Pan American Life Center was 87.5% occupied and through our leasing efforts we have increased occupancy to 91%. Our ability to raise equity, close a major transaction, and add value in operations lays the groundwork for us to be taken seriously as a major player in large-scale office properties.