T-Mobile call center sells for $16M

Brian Brown • Springfield Business Journal Online • July 25, 2011

A publicly traded real estate investment trust buys the 78,000-square-foot office.

McLean, Va.-based real estate investment trust Gladstone Commercial (Nasdaq: GOOD) has purchased the 78,000-square-foot T-Mobile Customer Service Center in north Springfield for nearly $16 million.

Listing agent Craig Tomlinson, director of Tulsa-based commercial brokerage firm Stan Johnson Co., said the property was on the market for about six months before it closed June 20.

He said about 10 companies and individual investors had considered the T-Mobile building, 2645 N. Airport Plaza, before Gladstone Commercial secured the deal.

“We had a formal arrangement with (the sellers) and they wanted us to take on a rather broad effort, but even at that, those efforts are targeted toward larger, known and capable entities like the public groups and large partnerships,” Tomlinson said. “It’s not the kind of property that you stick a sign out on.”

Tomlinson, who represented both the buyer and the seller, declined to disclose the name of the seller in the 16.5-acre transaction and said the group declined to comment on the sale.

According to Greene County assessor records, TMC II Springfield MO LLC owned the T-Mobile building on 10 acres fronting Interstate 44 at Airport Plaza. The property holds a 2011 appraised value of $3.7 million.

Tomlinson declined to provide financial details of T-Mobile’s lease agreement, but the term of the lease is in excess of 10 years from the closing date.

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Ryan Mooney, senior vice president of business development for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, said he assisted Tomlinson with market data on the sale before answering the buyer’s questions about the stability of T-Mobile’s operations in Springfield.

“I don’t know that we could provide any concrete assurances – nobody knows at this point,” Mooney said. “But we were able to provide some facts and some information that we had. We have a very good relationship with T-Mobile and are in regular contact with them regarding their operations and what we, as a community, are able to do to help their operation continue to be the best it can be.”

Tomlinson said the interest in the property is indicative of current market conditions, noting demand for large commercial building with long-term tenants is high and the supply is relatively low.

The T-Mobile center employs some 760 workers and has pledged to hire 300 more this year.

Springfield T-Mobile employees will continue to work out of the 2645 N. Airport Plaza call center.

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