Developer Steve Anderson broke ground on a new 36,500-square-foot commercial office space at Mayfaire Town Center. On July 5, the steel frame will be erected at 6752 Parker Farm Drive for the three-story building adjacent to the former Wachovia building. The Offices at Mayfaire will be move-in ready for the first condo owners on January 1, Anderson said.
Three companies have closed on units within the commercial condominium. Home health care provider, WellCare Home Health, has committed to buying the 12,000-square-foot office space on the second floor. The company will consolidate its two Wilmington offices at these new corporate headquarters in January. On the first floor, professional staffing company Dunhill Professional Search and Government Systems has committed to buying about 2,900 square feet and Accent Physical Therapy has closed on about 3,600 square feet. Two companies, a statewide insurance company and an optometrist, are looking at buying or renting the remaining first floor office space.
“It’s unusual in the last two or three years to have more than one client looking at the same space, which is testimony to our timing and the ZIP code,” said Anderson. And, he priced it aggressively below the market.
Anderson currently is selling the space at $141-per-square foot. But as the building becomes committed, the prices will go up. “Our target after our next commitment would be to go $149-a-foot. It’s just a function of supply and demand,” he said.
He has had to adjust the product and pricing to the times. “I think this building in ’07 and ‘08, we would have been in the $195- to $220-per-square-foot,” he said.
But, this is no longer 2005 and 2006, a period in which the project’s architect Cothran Harris calls a period of bells and whistles.
Now, he said we are in a period of pragmatism and this commercial building reflects that.
“This is a project in which we want every piece that we put in it to add value without adding extraordinary cost,” Harris said.
For $141-per-square-foot, owners receive a finished shell building with completed common areas that include bathrooms, hallways and elevators. The three committed companies are moving from renting their current offices to owning their new ones.
“With the cost of construction and the interest rate environment, we’re able to own our own building for less than to lease,” said Wayne Long, CEO for WellCare Home Health.
While each floor offers 12,000 square feet, Harris said they can accommodate a 1,000-square-foot user.
“That gives us the flexibility to work with the Wilmington market that typically has small- to medium-size end users and give everyone a view of daylight and a short walk to services,” he said.
Three separate businesses, an attorney practice, a pharmaceutical company and an administrative user, have expressed interest in the entire 12,000-square-foot layout on the third floor.
“I haven’t had that kind of activity for three years,” Anderson said. “I have more people looking at the balance of the building than I have building left to sell or lease.”
He thinks the economy and market for commercial office space is turning the corner as evident in the closings of five office spaces in his Howe Creek Landing property at 700-710 Military Cutoff Road this past year. Four of of those spaces are owner-occupied and one was a lease, he said.
Project manager Brandon Lisk of McKinley Building said starting on the Offices at Mayfaire has been quick because of the existing infrastructure at Mayfaire. The design for the structural steel was released May 16 and they will begin erecting it on July 5.
“I’ve never done anything that fast for the size of this building,” Lisk said.
But, to keep the obligations to the new owners, they must build it by the end of the year. Anderson, who is a Wilmingtonian and remembers when this property was open space and farmland, is confident they will.
“I think the success of this project is very much tied to this part of the county.” he said. “The eastern part of New Hanover County, we’ve just had so much growth out here.”
“Working with SAMM Properties was so easy. They anticipated what I needed before I even thought of it. I never had to ask any questions about the process. Everything was explained in detail all along the way. I would recommend them to anyone looking to lease or purchase space for their business.”
“After renting my office space for 20 years we purchased our medical office space from SAMM Properties four years ago. Best business decision I've ever made! SAMM is easy to work with and they over deliver. I highly recommend them.”
“Steve Anderson is a quality person, who builds a quality product, and makes the entire process a quality experience. He knows what owners want and need in a commercial property. I have purchased two units in Howe Creek Landing and have been delighted.”
“We worked with Steve Anderson on the lease of our office space in Mayfaire. We were thrilled with the final outcome and look, all beyond our expectation. What we appreciate most was his communication, attention to detail, and delivery of expected results and then some within the expected time frame.”
“My wife and I were leasing space for our retail store here in Wilmington and Steve approached us about purchasing space in Phase II of Anderson Square. Since we had always wanted to own our store space, we actively pursued purchasing a location in Anderson Square. I had known Steve for a number of years but had never had a business relationship with him. I was not surprised at all to find that it was an absolute pleasure to deal with him as our new location was being built. He was always available to help in any way he could to be a problem solver during the construction. I had been expecting a lot of hassles during the build as the gremlins seem to thrive around construction sites, but my experience was the opposite. If I needed help or advice, Steve was right there smoothing the way.
We opened our new location in 2004 and I worked closely with Steve until he sold his interest in Anderson Square in 2016. During those years, I found him to be very concerned about the welfare of all the store owners in the center and was constantly picking up trash, hanging Christmas decorations or driving through to check on any parking problems. Steve is the type of developer that remains involved in his projects long after they are completed. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to own or lease a portion of any project he is building.”