Spanish Company Renews Lease At Large Airport West Facility
By Marilyn Bowden
In one of the county’s largest lease deals this year, a travel-industry provider that had been considering moving to Broward has signed a 10-year renewal.
Amadeus North America renewed the lease on its 185,226-square-foot North American headquarters at 9250 NW 36th St. in Airport West, said Tom Capocefalo, managing director of real estate firm Studley who represented Amadeus in the transaction.
Industry sources say the value of the lease is likely about $40 million.
Amadeus, with world headquarters in Spain, handles marketing, sales and distribution for companies in the travel and tourism industry in more than 200 markets worldwide. Mr. Capocefalo said the company has occupied the same office building in Airport West for almost 20 years.
"The issue was that the firm has been growing," he said. "They looked at the issue of employee retention and growth, and there was a very strong push to relocate to Southwest Broward. But at the end of the day, a realistic and prudent analysis did not suggest that that would be the right thing to do."
Amadeus employs up to 700 people, he said.
A demographic profile of employees showed that Amadeus’ office was centrally located, Mr. Capocefalo said, and the predominance of a Hispanic labor force tilted the balance in favor of Miami-Dade for the Spanish firm. After that, he said, the company looked at opportunities in Northwest Dade.
Amadeus began talking about options in 2001, Mr. Capocefalo said, and has been seriously considering its alternatives for two years – long enough to allow for construction of a build-to-suit facility.
"The building owner, Florida Office Property Co., was eager to keep the tenant, as was everyone involved," said Sandra E. Andersen, a senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle who represented the landlord. "I think in the end, everyone walked away happy," she said.
Ms. Andersen said Florida Office Property has agreed to upgrade the building, which has become antiquated during Amadeus’s 20-year residence. "The elevators will be new mechanically," she said. "They will upgrade the air-conditioning system and refurbish the common areas, including the main lobby."
The Airport West area posted the highest office absorption in the county during the first quarter. According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s most recent analysis of the market, overall direct vacancy is less than 14% – the lowest in three years.